Wimbledon dog owners warned to be vigilant following reports of contaminated chicken in streets and parks

Wimbledon residents are worried someone is targeting their dogs by leaving piles of raw and cooked chicken in various locations since November.

Some dog owners believe the chicken is deliberately poisoned, such as entertainer Andrew Morris, 52, who rushed his Norfolk terrier Archie (pictured above) to Park Vets in November after he ate some chicken on Coombe Lane.

Mr Morris said: “Thank goodness I’d heard about cases of poisoned chicken being left around that day. If it had been a normal day, I probably would have just left it and Archie would probably be dead.”

Merton police are currently investigating the case and are awaiting the results from chicken samples they sent for testing in December.

While there has been no forensic confirmation the chicken has been tampered with, Mr Morris said vets told him the chicken Archie brought up smelt funny, a little like pesto and they could tell there was some kind of poison involved.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “It is concerning to hear about this and we are looking into reports. We would urge pet owners in the area to be vigilant at all times and be on the lookout for anything suspicious.”

Concerned dog owners have taken to social media platforms such as Next Door and Facebook to warn other dog lovers and voice their concerns.

A report of a dog dying from contaminated chicken on 28 January was shared on Facebook group Wimbledon Common Dog Community, but has not been confirmed by the police.

No information has been released confirming whether the chicken has been deliberately placed or possibly dragged from food waste bins by wildlife, but reports continue to be widespread with multiples incidences occurring on single days.

Some dog owners are avoiding the area altogether as the chicken is usually buried meaning their dogs have found and eaten it before they have a chance to intervene.

Childminder Karen Gray is currently avoiding taking her four dogs, Khaleeshi, Archie, Molly and Dillon to Wimbledon Common.

Ms Gray said: “As all my dogs exercise off lead I absolutely wouldn’t risk walking there now or any time soon.”

Luckily for Mr Morris, Archie made a full recovery and is back to his playful self.

But with the last case of abandoned chicken being reported on Murray Road on Wednesday, Wimbledon’s dog enthusiasts remain wary and are eager to get to the bones of the matter.

Speaking of a possible chicken prankster, Mr Morris said: “I don’t know why the police haven’t been able to pick them up on some camera at some point, but I suppose they don’t care about animals as much as people.”

Merton police did not respond to a request for comment.

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

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