A DEVASTATED dog owner believes her pet was intentionally poisoned during an Easter walk.

Emma Dowsing said her mother was walking her Golden Retriever Goldie on the Ridgeway in South Oxfordshire on Sunday evening when he collapsed.

Oxford Mail:

The seven-year-old died just 24 hours later and Ms Dowsing said a vet has confirmed that the dog had ingested rat poison prior to becoming ill.

Other dog walkers are now being warned to keep their pets on the lead in the popular walking spot.

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Ms Dowsing said Goldie had wandered off for a few minutes at around 7.30pm in the stretch of the Ridgeway between East Hendred and Wantage.

He ran back to her mother before collapsing on the spot.

His condition grew steadily worse overnight before he died on Monday evening, after being ill for around 24 hours.

Oxford Mail:

The 24-year-old from Didcot said: "After a couple of minutes, he just collapsed. He couldn't walk or stand.

"He spent the night in the garden. We thought he had overdone it and it was warm so for him to be in the garden wasn't unusual.

"Then the following morning he had blood coming from his nose and anus and was vomiting blood.

"We took him straight to the vets and they tested for all sorts and that's when they confirmed rat poison about 10.30am in the morning."

Ms Dowsing said Goldie's condition did improve slightly before he deteriorated again.

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She added: "He started to do well and perk up but then, within a matter of a couple of hours, he had a fever and the internal bleeding was so bad that he was gone.

"They didn't even have time to call us to say goodbye, he was gone within 20 minutes."

Ms Dowsing is sharing the story to raise awareness in the hope that other dogs can be saved from a similar fate.

It is not known how the dog came to ingest the poison but Ms Dowsing said she believed it was put down with the intention of making pets ill as she said she had heard of this happening across the local area in the past.

In the Ladygrove part of the town, people have been laying potentially harmful substances which are being cleaned up by concerned citizens, according to Ms Dowsing.

She added: "He really was a good boy. I couldn't have asked for a better dog.

"Let's hope something good can come from his death by ensuring this doesn't happen to any others."

A post sharing Goldie's plight on the Spotted Didcot Facebook page, elicited hundreds of comments.

One woman wrote: "Many years ago we had two dogs and lived in East Hendred. We used to regularly take our dogs for a run on the Ridgeway.

"It was one of the few places we could let them off the lead for some healthy freedom."

Pet owners have previously been warned about animals being intentionally poisoned.

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Last year, toxic antifreeze was blamed for killing cats in a Marcham cul-de-sac.

Three pets from Tower Close were poisoned in the same week, suffering kidney problems that proved to be fatal for two of them.

In 2017, Hart Veterinary Centre in Bicester warned a ‘significant quantity’ of rat poison was poured over a village green in Langford.