Karl Head’s black Staffordshire Welsh terrier, ‘Tyeboy’, died last month following a trip to Victoria Park. An autopsy carried out by Grove Lodge vets revealed rat poison, in the form of small blue tablets, to be the cause of death.
Mr Head, 42, of Christchurch Road, Worthing, said: “He was a brilliant dog loved by all. He was one of the boys.
“If it’s not kids that did it then it’s one sick person.”
Tyeboy was bought by Karl 12 years ago for his daughter Laura-Leigh. But the two never met, as Laura-Leigh died at birth.
It was on its regular circular walking route – from Christchurch Road, to the pier, to the Goring roundabout and back through Victoria Park to Christchurch Road – that Tyeboy consumed the poison. Mr Head believes the poison was consumed in Victoria Park as that was the only time the dog was let off its lead.
“Back home he started coughing so I gave him some honey to soothe his throat,” said Karl. “He was coughing the next day and was bloated. At night he put his head on my shoulder and died.”
Karl said he was now hesitant to walk his other dog, a white Staffie named Princess.
Billy Elliott, WADARS’ senior animal rescue officer, said: “Unfortunately, some of these things are available on the internet. With any kind of poison it’s indiscriminate, in terms of what’s going to take the bait. The likelihood is it was put out to deter vermin and wasn’t done in a professional way.”