Malicious poisoning, or poisoning an animal on purpose, is usually done by lacing an object that an animal would usually want to eat or play with a toxic substance.
In some cases, animals have been poisoned by a neighbour or an individual who lives near an area that dogs frequent such as a park, because they are annoyed by the animals.
Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on how to prevent malicious poisoning:
1. Be a good neighbour! Please don’t allow your pets to have access to your neighbours’ gardens and bins. If your dog is an incessant barker and/or howls and whines while you are away, you may want to work with an animal behaviourist or dog trainer to solve the problem. Should your neighbours have concerns, try to address them in a positive, constructive manner to avoid serious conflicts.
2. Is your pet allowed outdoors in your fenced-in or otherwise secure area? It’s smart to do routine checks of this enclosed area.
3. Be sure to remove unfamiliar or questionable items from the enclosure.
4. Supervise your pets when they are outdoors whenever possible. Do not allow your pets to spend significant amounts of time unsupervised outdoors.
5. Develop relationships with neighbours who have pets. You can join forces to create a neighbourhood watch for the companion animals in the area. Be alert for anything out of the ordinary!
6. Provide a safe, confined area with a secure gate when pets are left alone outdoors.
7. Keep a watchful eye on your pets if you let them roam free. Animals that are allowed to roam simply have more opportunities to get into potentially poisonous substances. Remember if you pet eats a dead animal like a mouse or rat that died from poison they can become sick as well. We advise that you don't let your pets roam where you can't see them.
8. Teach your pet not to accept food or treats from strangers, this is a hard one we know but it is important.
9. Report any suspicious behaviour to local authorities. Remember, animal cruelty is a crime!