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Dog poisoning concerns in Clonlara

FEARS have been expressed that a child could be killed in Clonlara by ingesting illegal substances after up to six dogs died in the locality.

One dog was found dead about 100 yards from Clonlara National School, which is located very near the access point for the popular walking route on the canal bank at the back of Derryvinna Housing Estate.

No one has been charged in relation to these incidences involving unknown persons.

Councillor Michael Begley warned that any poisonous substance, such as Strychnine, that was laid along the canal bank could be picked up by crows and dropped in a nearby lawn where children play.

A number of dog owners and Councillor Begley discussed this issue with ESB representatives recently, where it was suggested that an amenity area could be cordoned off exclusively for the use of walkers without being let.

However, the ESB, according to Councillor Begley, didn’t agree with this proposal as it wants to continue using sheep to keep the grass cut.Instead, the agency erected notices warning people about the risk of poisoning.

Councillor Begley said one of the most annoying aspects of these incidences was the fact that the dogs were under the control of their owners and were not let loose.

His warning was issued after separate incidences of suspected dog poisoning involving at least six dogs in Clonlara in recent weeks.

This was in addition to the death of one dog in Killaloe following three reported incidents of suspected poisoning on Ballycuggeran forest walk on June 6, 7 and 8.

Killaloe gardaí have confirmed that one dog died and two other canines that got ill subsequently recovered.

A spokesman for Killaloe gardaí confirmed it was illegal to lay any poison in public and noted gardaí were anxious to stamp this anxiety before it became too prevalent.

Confirming that investigations were continuing, the spokesman said that the report concerning the precise nature of the illegal substance wasn’t conclusive.

John Garrahy, manager and practice principal at Treaty Veterinary Clinic, Limerick, said three dogs from the Clonlara area died within a few days of each other in May, while another three died within 24 hours last month, as a result of banned ingesting substances.

Mr Garrahy confirmed that the family pets were either dead on arrival or died within a short space of time after arriving at the clinic.

He said if a child picked up one of these illegal substances the consequences would be “horrendous”. He acknowledged these cases were very distressing for the dog owners, as there was very little a vet could do in absence of any effective medicine to cure them once the poisonous substances were ingested.

He said the affected dogs experienced extreme twitching and nervousness, as well as very laboured breathing.

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