Dog owners in a Northside suburb are being terrorised by a suspected dog killer who is planting rat poison in their gardens to kill their pets.
Residents on Ardbeg Drive, Artane, Dublin 5, have been at the mercy of the sinister incidents for the past four years, where culprits have mixed rat poison with dog food, or thrown the poison tablets into their gardens.
Karen Boylan (40) told the Herald that her one year-old Labradoodle Oscar almost ate the poison, before her husband Christy found him and brought him to a vet on time
"The dog even had a bit in his mouth and he brought him to the vet. It's like a washing powder tablet. If you don't get the dog to a vet immediately, they're going to die," she said.
"If you don't know the dog has taken it, the poison thins out his blood and it becomes very, very ill over a few days, and it dies."
There have been up to four attempts by the culprit to poison Oscar recently, according to Karen, and the worried family has reported the incident to local gardai.
"The last time was November when we were away for a few days, and my husband went out the back for a smoke and he recognised it.
"We've told the guards and they're sympathetic but there's not a lot they can do. We don't know for sure who is responsible but with the amount of times that it's happened, it's very localised."
The Boylan family home was broken into last November and they found the poison planted in their garden afterwards.
"We've to check the garden every time we go out and we don't let the dog out anymore. We keep him inside all the time, so he's not out barking or annoying anyone. He's a family pet and you get very attached to them."
The Boylans' neighbours Ray and Ann McDonnell are also suffering at the hands of the dog killer, since their family pet died after he ate the poison.
"The McDonnell's dog [Fifi] was murdered, that's what I call it. It's a horrible, cowardly thing to do. I think it's the same person that's doing it. It's very distressing," said Karen.
Almost two weeks ago, the McDonnell family's dog was targeted again and they had to take their pet to the vet a number of times.
Karen added: "A dog in another house on our road died three years ago as well."
Meanwhile, Karen's children Liam (8), Sean (15) and Aoibhinn (19) are extremely attached to their pet.
"Our little boy Liam idolises the dog, and if anything happened to him I don't know what I'd do. And Sean's going mad about it. It would be devastating to them if anything happened."
A garda spokesperson said: "[The matter] is under investigation and enquiries are ongoing. We would encourage members of the public to report such matters at their local garda stations."