In the past month, up to 48 dogs and at least one cat were reportedly poisoned by suspected burglars across Middelburg in Mpumalanga.
The suspects are alleged to have used Temik – or “Two-step” – to poison the animals. The Temik is usually mixed with a concoction of meat or bread.
Only one dog has been reported to have survived the ordeal of consuming the poison, Middelburg Observer reported.
Middelburg police spokesperson Warrant Officer Lize de Witt confirmed the latest incident of dog poisoning occurred over the weekend at a home in Piet Grobler Street in Dennesig.
A recent spike in house burglaries across the town and the latest surge in dog poisonings has caused concern within the community.
Senior Inspector at the Middelburg SPCA, Petro Oberholzer described the incidents as “devastating”.
“It’s very heart-breaking to see a beloved pet die like that. I also think it’s a very painful death. We try to assist in any which way we can but in most cases it’s already too late.
“We advise residents to let their pets sleep inside for the night – it’s probably the only way to keep them safe,” added Oberholzer.
De Witt urged home owners to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
However, experts believe that the widespread distribution and use of Temik is not necessarily linked to registered distributors, but to the illegal selling of Temik as a “domestic rat poison” at bus depots in South Africa.
According to media reports, a large number of veterinarians indicated that they thought criminal intent was the main reason why animals were poisoned.
– Caxton News Service