Published: 09:21, 06 September 2019
| Updated: 12:41, 06 September 2019
Cruel yobs are trying to poison dogs by lobbing dishwasher tablets into gardens in Whitstable, pet owners fear.
The capsules have been found outside properties in a number of streets - prompting the RSPCA to issue an appeal for more information.
Jessica Checksfield was at her mum's house in Sydenham Street, Whitstable, when her brother-in-law noticed three tablets lying on the back lawn.
"We were there for my mum's birthday when he spotted them," say the 29-year-old.
"There were three - he picked them up and put them in the bin, then had a look and saw there were some over the fence as well.
"Mum doesn't have a dishwasher. Someone had obviously someone's thrown them over.
"My mum has two dogs - a cockapoo called Bella and a chow called Teddy.
"Had one dog eaten three of those, it could have been really bad. The detergent can make dogs really sick."
Mrs Checksfield took to Facebook to warn other pet owners to stay vigilant, and was surprised when a number of other people reported similar experiences.
One woman living on Woodlawn Street says she has discovered dishwasher tablets in her garden "several times over a long period".
Another commenter reported seeing a tablet on the ground while out running in Northwood Road earlier this month.
The RSPCA says it would like to hear from anyone with more information about the string of incidents.
"If you suspect your dog has eaten something which may be harmful or toxic try and stay calm and contact your vet immediately...'RSPCA
A spokesman said: "This is worrying to hear and we would urge anyone who has any information to contact us on the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
"Guidance from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service states that detergent capsules used for washing clothes contain detergents and can burst when wet or bitten, which can cause harm and can result in vomiting, breathing problems, skin and eye irritation and high body temperature.
“If you suspect your dog has eaten something which may be harmful or toxic try and stay calm and contact your vet immediately.
"Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after ingestion to two or three days. This can include some, or all, of the following symptoms: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures and difficulty breathing.
"If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned - whether deliberately or not - you should take them to a vet immediately. If possible and safe to do so, you should take a sample of what the animal has ingested, or the container.
"Poisoning animals deliberately is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act."
More by this authorLydia Chantler-Hicks