Poisoned food has been scattered on Tooting Common risking the lives of dogs who play there, reported concerned vets in Streatham Hill as they urged pet owners to be vigilant.
The reports – repeated on the Streatham Hill Vets websites and social media accounts – say that an individual has been laying down cheese laced with rat poison.
The as yet unidentified person claimed they wanted to kill foxes on the common, which is illegal.
Dog-lovers have been expressing their horror on Facebook in response to the warning and have condemned the ‘horrible’ action.
Liz Clayton, a dog owner from south west London, said: “It’s terrible…my dogwalker knows of two Labradors that have died…she doesn’t know if that was why, but they were young, and no other clues…”
Streatham Hill Vets have urged anyone worried that their dog has eaten anything suspicious to call their surgery immediately.
Concerned Londoner Claire Coburn said: “My neighbour told me about this earlier this week. Awful. Not just dogs but many animals could be affected by this.
“I know some people hate foxes but if we live by the common we must all accept and enjoy the wildlife who have been there longer than we have.”
Foxes are a common sight in the city and have become synonymous with urban living, although they have adapted well to London they are not always welcome.
They are classified as pests and there are a number of ways to discourage them from your area without resorting to extreme, and illegal, poisoning.
The government’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme looks into the deaths of wildlife where pesticides have been used.
If you find evidence of a pesticide poisoning, or see a wild animal you suspect has been affected you are urged to call the scheme’s hotline.
Streatham Hill Vets can be reached on 0208 674 3525 and the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme on 0800 321 600.
Picture courtesy of thom, with thanks