Dog dies in owner's arms after seizure in alleged poisoning

Toby Image copyright Michelle Burrow
Image caption Dog owner Michelle Burrow says her family is still coming to terms with what happened

A dog owner has described how her beloved pet dog died in her arms in a suspected poisoning incident.

Michelle Burrow was walking her seven Springer Spaniels on a New Year's Day walk when the dog Toby had a seizure.

Moments after he died a second dog also began to suffer a seizure, but she was able to revive him.

The RSPCA described the incident as "deeply distressing" and urged pet owners to be vigilant after the incident in Caerphilly.

Ms Burrow, who helps re-home rescue dogs and volunteers for a Springer Spaniel charity, said the apparent poisoning took place during a walk along the River Rhymney near her home in Llanbradach.

"They ingested something," she said. "I don't know what it is but it obviously causes harm.

"I looked around and thought 'what's Toby up to?', but as I went over, it was clear he was having a fit or a seizure.

"I tried to bring him out of it but I couldn't get close enough to him because he was trying to fight. I couldn't save him. He died in my arms."

Moments later, a second dog began to howl.

"I heard Bear screaming," she said.

"He was just over the bank, so I had to let Toby go and help Bear. There was nothing I could do for Toby.

"I pulled Bear out of the brambles and cuddled him and talked to him. He did come around, thankfully."

Image copyright Michelle Burrow
Image caption The dog owner is urging people to be vigilant

She believes that Toby and Bear were poisoned and is urging other dog walkers to be vigilant.

"The other dogs are all fine so it wasn't the water they had been in," she said. "It must have been something they ingested.

"The vets can't confirm it and we didn't find anything on the trail when we went to check but I suppose if they had eaten it, it wouldn't be there anyway.

"It could have been deliberately placed, or it could have been something like mould on food. All we know is that there's something about that they are finding tasty and eating."

Image copyright Michelle Burrow
Image caption Two of the dogs fell ill on the walk

An official from the animal welfare charity RSPCA said symptoms such as those exhibited by Ms Burrow's dogs could indicate a poisoning incident

"If an individual fears their pet has been poisoned, it is vital they stay calm, remove the animal from the source of poison, contact their vet immediately, and follow their advice," said a spokesman.

"These reports sound deeply distressing, and our thoughts are with the owners at this difficult time."

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