'He died in my arms': Brent dog owners demand action after poisonings

Nicola Tomlin says her dog Phoenix was poisoned in Gladstone Park, Brent

Nicola Tomlin says her dog Phoenix was poisoned in Gladstone Park, Brent - Credit: Nicola Tomlin

Brent pet owners are calling for action over growing fears that dogs are being poisoned in the area.

This comes after rat poison pellets were reportedly found in Neasden Recreation Ground last month.

Nicola Tomlin, who lives near Gladstone Park, is campaigning for change after her puppy sadly passed away last November.

She said her Miniature Schnauzer Phoenix, who would have turned one on March 1, suddenly became ill after a walk in Gladstone Park.

Phoenix died when he was eight months old

Phoenix died when he was eight months old - Credit: Nicola Tomlin

Nicola told this paper: "It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were running around chasing each other as we always did.

"He was sniffing around the grass near the entrance to the park.

"When we got home he was quieter than normal and began vomiting, so I rushed him to the emergency vet.

"I carried him over a mile to get there, and was getting more and more worried about him.

Most Read

"He died in my arms two days later on November 9.

dog drawing

Nicola said drawing dogs "brings her joy" - Credit: Nicola Tomlin

"It was absolutely heart-breaking. The grief was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life."

She described him as a "lively and energetic" puppy who loved to play with local children.

Nicola, who has psychogenic seizures, was also training Phoenix to be a service dog, and said he helped her overcome her grief after losing her older Miniature Schnauzer Jasper.

Nicola Tomlin bought Phoenix after her dog Jasper (pictured) died

Nicola Tomlin bought Phoenix after her dog Jasper (pictured) died - Credit: Nicola Tomlin

"I lost two dogs in 11 months," she said.

"The medical profession needs to understand more about grieving for pets.

"Phoenix was a fit and healthy dog on the Saturday, and dead on the Tuesday.

"The vet said the most likely cause of death was poison.

"He deserves to have people know about him, and I want to raise awareness about how he died."

Nicola says her new puppy Xavier is helping her to overcome her grief

Nicola says her new puppy Xavier-Starr is helping her to overcome her grief - Credit: Nicola Tomlin

Worryingly, suspected poisonings appear to be occurring across the UK, with recent incidents reported in Hackney and Birmingham.

The poisoning reports have deterred another Brent dog owner, Nimesh Dave, from walking his pets in Neasden Recreation Ground.

Nimesh, who works for Guard and Protect security firm, said he now walks his two dogs on the pavement rather than in the local parks.

Nimesh Dave said he no longer feels safe walking his dogs in Neasden Recreation Ground

Nimesh Dave said he no longer feels safe walking his dogs in Neasden Recreation Ground - Credit: Nimesh Dave

"I live right by the park but don't ever go there anymore, it just doesn't feel safe," he said.

"The rat poison isn't new, we've heard reports before, but it's becoming more frequent."

Nimesh also alleged that people have been putting poison and bleach in bin bags to prevent rats or foxes getting in, without considering the potentially lethal effect on dogs.

He wants the council to create a separate area in the park to help keep dogs safe.

However, a Brent Council spokesperson said there are "no current plans" to create segregated areas in Neasden Recreation Ground.

Nimesh's colleague Robbie Singh, who owns the residential security business, was left with £14,000 worth of vet bills when his dog suddenly became sick after patrolling in Hyde Park.

Robbie suspects his Cane Corso was poisoned, after he lost his appetite and rapidly lost weight, with ulcers appearing on his mouth.

"The vet said it looked like acid had burnt his tongue," Robbie said.

"I'm still concerned that it could happen again - I don't know what their intentions were or whether it as deliberate, but we need to ensure our dogs are safe."

Robbie Singh said his dog became ill whilst on patrol in Hyde Park

Robbie Singh said his dog became ill whilst on patrol in Hyde Park - Credit: Robbie Singh

The Brent Council spokesperson added: “Our ground maintenance staff quickly cleared rat poison pellets after they were reported at Neasden Recreation Ground and we have found nothing further on follow-up inspections. 

“Where safety concerns do emerge in Brent’s parks, we work in close partnership with local police teams to address these.”

Have you been affected by suspected dog poisonings? Get in touch with LondonLive@Archant.co.uk.