Olive as a puppy. Olive and her big sister, Aeryn, died recently after allegedly being baited in Coorparoo. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Olive as a puppy. Olive and her big sister, Aeryn, died recently after allegedly being baited in Coorparoo. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

Two dogs killed in suspected baiting

A DOG sport community is in mourning after two cocker spaniels were allegedly poisoned in their backyard.

Dentist Meredith Pokarier, 53, of Coorparoo returned home from work last Wednesday to find what she said appeared to be vomited yellow mince over her front lawn and her two cocker spaniels unwell.

She rushed Aeryn, 12, and Olive, 3, to Manly Road Veterinary Hospital where they spent two days fighting for their lives.

Olive, 3 died after the suspected baiting. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Olive, 3 died after the suspected baiting. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

Both dogs, who played Flyball and agility, had to be euthanized Friday night after the substance ingested caused extreme and irreparable liver damage, according to veterinarians.

Dr Pokarier said at first the vet thought the dogs might have eaten a toxic plant, but she immediately thought of a complaint a next door neighbour had received about a barking dog.

"At first the vet thought maybe they ate a mushroom, but I saw mince-like yellow bits with something like mersyndol in it," she said.

Cocker spaniels Aeryn, 12, and Olive, 3, of Coorparoo did not survive. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Cocker spaniels Aeryn, 12, and Olive, 3, of Coorparoo did not survive. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

"I immediately thought of how a neighbour got a letter about her dog barking last week."

The border collie, owned by the neighbour who received the letter, also started vomiting but recovered after being taken to the same emergency vet.

Now a devastated Dr Pokarier is urging anyone with issues with a neighbourhood dog to approach the owner or the council to discuss any problems.

"It's just awful. It's a very cruel thing. I never thought it would happen to me in that neighbourhood," she said.

"Don't take it into your own hands. There are proper avenues.

"Talk to your neighbours, talk to the council."

Backyard Buddies team members Meredith Pokarier with Aeryn, 12, and Olive, 3, taking a break during a Flyball competition. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Backyard Buddies team members Meredith Pokarier with Aeryn, 12, and Olive, 3, taking a break during a Flyball competition. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

Dr Pokarier had raised Aeryn and Olive since they were puppies.

They both competed in Flyball with Brisbane team the Backyard Buddies, but would also train with the Pawsitive Connection-owned Flyball Fanatics.

Pawsitive Connection broke the news to the Flyball community on Saturday on their Facebook page, describing it as "incomprehensible."

"Cocker Spaniels Aeryn and Olive were sadly targets of a dreaded dog baiting and lost their battle last night," they wrote in the post.

"Both were Flyball dogs, Olive training with us on Saturday mornings along with her Backyard Buddy mates, and Olive also doing agility with us on Saturday afternoons."

Dr Pokarier had hoped for longer with Aeryn, who had just turned 12 on May 13, but said at least she had enjoyed a good life.

Cocker spaniel Olive, 3 in action. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Cocker spaniel Olive, 3 in action. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

She said her "cuddlepuss," Olive's life had been robbed.

"Olive was so young and full of life and enthusiasm, energy and was enjoying everything," she said.

"She was robbed. This was so cruel and unfair.

"They were my purpose to get out of bed. They used to tag team to annoy me to get out of bed to get them breakfast.

"I hate it. Now when I have breakfast I have no one to share my toast with."

Dr Pokarier said Aeryn started playing Flyball - a dog relay race with hurdles and a ball - when she was four.

"She just absolutely loved it," she said.

"She'd cry at the starting line because it wasn't her turn yet."

Cocker spaniel Aeryn, pictured on her 12th birthday. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook
Cocker spaniel Aeryn, pictured on her 12th birthday. Picture: Meredith Pokarier/Facebook

Olive played both Flyball and agility, though she particularly liked the tunnel.

"She'd see the tunnel and forget what else she was supposed to do," she said.

"She was a great comedian and kept everyone laughing with her version of agility.

"She loved doing it. She was my little athlete, whereas Aeryn was slow and steady."

Manly Road Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Christine Kidd said poisoning an animal was "extremely cruel."

"It's also very dangerous as you never know when a child might take some of that bait," she said.

Dr Kidd said if anyone ever suspected their dogs had ingested any type of toxin, they should seek immediate veterinary care.

"Every sort of toxin varies but the sooner the better. If you think it's poison, minutes can make a big difference," she said.

A Queensland Police spokesman said the dog's deaths were under investigation.

"Under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, a deliberate act of cruelty carries a maximum of three years' imprisonment or a $252,300 fine," he said.

"It is also an offence to administer, or feed, a harmful substance, with the intention of killing an animal.

"The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of these offences is $37,845 or one-year imprisonment."

The spokesman said anyone with information was asked to contact police.



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