Animal rights charity PETA is offering a £1000 reward for information that could lead to the capture of a mystery person who poisoned and killed three dogs near a London park.
The dogs, two bull lurchers and a springer spaniel, were fed meat laced with poison around the Fryent Country Park area in Kingsbury, Brent, north-west London. Three others are lucky to be alive after receiving treatment.
The local PETA branch (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) hopes the reward will prompt someone to come forward with information that can lead to a conviction.
Spokesman Ben Williamson said: “It is imperative that any community faced with the abuse of animals take measures to find the culprit or culprits and stop the violence.
“Animal abusers are a danger to everyone – they take their issues out on whomever is available to them, human or non-human.”
The meat, laced with blue tablets, has been left in areas around the park since January. The first dog died on 21 January and the most recent death was last week.
Police have since put up signs around the park warning dog owners of the potential danger.
Lesley Hastings’ six-year-old bull lurcher Toby was one of the dogs killed, while her shih tzu-Jack Russell cross needed treatment.
She told The Evening Standard: “It’s heartbreaking because they are my family. I don’t have kids so it’s like losing a family member.”
Sergeant Peter Rowntree from the Metropolitan Police said: “This is such a nasty, cruel act which has killed three beloved dogs and endangered all domestic pets and wild animals, in such close proximity to a country park.
“Family pets, wildlife and the amenities of a country park are factors that enhance the quality of people's lives. The owners and families of the dogs affected have suffered acute distress.
"This is not simple, ignorant mischief, but criminal activity and the persons found to be responsible will be prosecuted."