RATSAK ATTACK: A Darling Downs family have been left fearful for their child’s life after discovering rat poison inside their Yarraman backyard. Mandee Hopkins was forced to call the vet after discovering her dog Pixel (right) had ingested several pellets of Ratsak on Monday afternoon. Her 10-month old son Declan had been playing in the yard only minutes earlier. Picture: Contributed
RATSAK ATTACK: A Darling Downs family have been left fearful for their child’s life after discovering rat poison inside their Yarraman backyard. Mandee Hopkins was forced to call the vet after discovering her dog Pixel (right) had ingested several pellets of Ratsak on Monday afternoon. Her 10-month old son Declan had been playing in the yard only minutes earlier. Picture: Contributed

Family horrified to find dogs poisoned in their own backyard

It was just another Monday evening when Yarraman mother Mandee Hopkins started dinner for her family of three, but the evening took a scary turn when her partner noticed a number of little green pellets in their back yard.

“It was on Monday at about 5pm when I went to cook dinner and my partner Douglas was taking our 10-month-old son Declan outside to play with the dogs like they do most afternoons,” she said.

“Not long after they went outside my partner came in with a worried look on his face and said ‘take Declan, I have to do something’ I instantly knew something was wrong, so I followed him outside.

“I noticed our dog Pixel eating something on the grass right next to her bowl with our other dog Pippa standing behind her and when we took a closer look, we realised it was Ratsak.”

The young parents said they’ve lived at the property in town for the last two years and don’t keep any Ratsak or poisons in the house as they have a young son and a young niece who also lives with them.

“The kids are always outside playing with the dogs, so we’ve always been careful about what we keep in and around the house,” Ms Hopkins said.

“When we realised it was Ratsak I instantly grabbed my phone and called our usual vet who wasn’t available for after-hours calls on this afternoon, so we ended up ringing Nanango Country Vets who came out straight away and treated both dogs.

“I cannot recommend the vets enough. They came to us within the hour treating both dogs at what I believe to be a very reasonable price for after hour emergency care.

“We now have tablets for the dogs to take for the next three weeks. Both dogs are recovering well at home. We are now overly cautious of our dogs and checking our yard daily.”

Mandee Hopkins got the fright of her life when her partner discovered Ratsak pellets in their Yarraman backyard. The family’s dogs Pippa (left) and Pixel (right) both required emergency veterinary attention after ingesting pellets from the grass where her 10-month old son Declan was playing only moments beforehand. Picture: Contributed
Mandee Hopkins got the fright of her life when her partner discovered Ratsak pellets in their Yarraman backyard. The family’s dogs Pippa (left) and Pixel (right) both required emergency veterinary attention after ingesting pellets from the grass where her 10-month old son Declan was playing only moments beforehand. Picture: Contributed

While Ms Hopkins and her partner said they can’t be sure who would have deposited the Ratsak in their property, they have a serious message for the offenders.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Ms Hopkins said.

“You are a horrible human being. How could you be so heart less to make an animal suffer in this way?

“They aren’t only our pets but are considered to be family members to us. Imagine how much worse this could have been if my young nieces had gotten hold of the poison while playing with the dogs in our yard or even worse our 10-month-old son.

“He’s always crawling in the grass while I hang the washing out and I hate to think what could have happened if we had not have seen it when we did.

Ms Hopkins confirmed she has been in touch with the Yarraman Police Station but said there isn’t a lot they can do as they don’t know who the culprit is.

Despite the after-hours vet call out costing the family $450, Ms Hopkins said they are just grateful to have their four-legged-friends in safe hands again.

“When they were treated the vet made them spew and you could see the Ratsak pellets in Pixels spew but we decided to treat both dogs as you can’t guarantee the other didn’t eat it.

“We were very lucky we caught them eating it as the vet said it can take up to four days for symptoms to show and once that happens it’s generally too late to save them.

“My advice to everyone is to thoroughly check your yards all the time because you never know who’s been around and who might want to do your family harm.

“I thought we lived in a nice quiet little country town but after this we will definitely be more on our guards about who and what is lurking around our home.”

Originally published as Family horrified to find dogs poisoned in their own backyard



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