Four dogs die in France after eating poisoned meatballs littered around canine cross-country race prompting police investigation
- Three dogs died ahead of the popular Canicross race in Vauvert last Sunday
- Another died after its owner walked it through the cordoned off area, police say
Four dogs have died after eating poisoned meatballs at a cross-country event in southern France in what authorities have described as an ‘odious act’.
Three of the dogs died before the start of the popular Canicross race in Vauvert last Sunday, which sees the pets and their owners go head to head in a long-distance run.
Police closed the area to the public, but tragically two more dogs have since been poisoned after their walker is said to have taken them through the barricades.
One of the pets died on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in the grim saga to four.
The twisted poisoner is still at large, and is believed to have mixed the poison with the meat while wearing gloves to avoid detection by police.
A Husky called Togo (pictured), was rushed to a veterinary clinic in Montpelier after sniffing the poisoned dogs vomit, and was thankfully saved
The poisonings took place at the French Canicross championship, which sees the pets and their owners go head to head in a long-distance run (stock image)
In the first attack last Sunday, four dogs were poisoned during the race championship, which took place on a vast course in the Chemin de Beauvoisin sector.
Three of the four pooches, named as Oslo, Palma and Opale, sadly died within 15 minutes of each other after eating the meatballs, according to Midi Libre.
The fourth dog, a Husky called Togo, was rushed to a veterinary clinic in Montpelier after sniffing the poisoned dogs vomit, and was thankfully saved.
The event was cancelled as the full scale of the shocking incident emerged.
On the site, the remnants of pellets vomited up by the dogs are said to have been recovered by police.
The poison had cruelly been mixed with meatballs, and tests have since been performed.
DNA analysis of the recovered poison has been taken place at a specialist laboratory in Lyon since Thursday.
Investigators are not holding out much hope of identifying the perpetrator via this method, France 3 Regions reports, as the poisoner probably wore gloves.
Three beloved dogs, named as Oslo, Palma and Opale, sadly died within 15 minutes of each other after eating the poisoned meatballs
Togo the Husky was saved by vets. Investigators are desperately trying to find the perpetrator of the heinous act
Investigations are still ongoing, with detectives combing through hours of CCTV footage to identify any suspicious activity.
‘All the videos from the city’s cameras are being analyzed, it’s a huge job because they have to be analyzed one by one in order to identify a possible suspicious vehicle,’ they said in a statement (roughly translated).
The area has since been cordoned off, but on Tuesday, according to investigators, ‘a resident went to walk his dogs on the spot, despite the many prohibition signs installed on the spot’. One of the pets did not survive.
If found, Nîmes prosecutor’s office would charge the perpetrator with acts of cruelty to animals, meaning they could face up to five years in prison and a 75,000 euros in fines, according to France 3.
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