RUMOURS OF deadly poison and sausages with needles inside them supposedly left on Hackney Downs to kill dogs have been frightening pet owners since the summer.
The claims gained credibility when a bull terrier died in pain and terror over several days from what its owner said was rat poison in meat it found at the railway end of the downs. The gentle creature was little more than 18 months old.
The rumours reached such a pitch that Hackney park keepers called a public meeting in the building at the centre of the downs. Dog-lovers, however, failed to turn up.
The advice, anyway, seemed unlikely to quell fears. The keepers said there had been concern about dogs’ becoming ill while being exercised on the downs. Posing the leading question, “What to do if you suspect your dog has been poisoned,” they said:
“Remove your pet from the area;
“check to make sure your pet is safe, breathing and acting normally;
“do not give any home antidotes;
“do not induce vomiting;
“collect a sample of the material, along with the packaging or container, and save it;
“contact your vet or emergency veterinary clinic immediately.”
Sensible advice, but have the keepers found evidence to justify the fear, Loving Dalston asked. Officially, the keepers would say no more. Discreet enquiries suggest they are at least sceptical about needle-containing sausages, as are several park-users.
Nevertheless, the council promises that “officers” (they mean park-keepers) will be “patrolling Hackney Downs”.
Where better to compare notes?
David Altheer 181116
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