An owner of four dogs in Old Man Bay says her pets were poisoned after a dish of food laced with poison was left out for the animals in her yard.
Samm Gage made the difficult decision to put down the dogs on 2 January. All four consumed the poison, suspected to be the deadly herbicide paraquat, between 27 and 28 December.
“The poison was in a dish of rice and beans,” she said.
Ms Gage said she had taken a sample of the food to the Department of Agriculture for testing, but that vets at Island Veterinary Services who treated the dogs said the symptoms the dogs displayed were consistent with paraquat poisoning.
Many dogs have fallen victim to paraquat poisoning in Cayman over the years.
The Department of Agriculture used to import and sell the herbicide but no longer does so. However, it is not banned in Cayman and can be imported by other parties.
Veterinaries say paraquat poisoning is nearly always fatal.
Once ingested, paraquat attacks the kidneys and can cause irreparable damage, but most dogs die from the impact of the poison on the lungs.
When used as directed, the herbicide is usually diluted to such an extent that it would not be fatal if ingested. Vets who have treated poisoned dogs say it is likely that dogs that have died as a result of eating paraquat were victims of deliberate poisonings.
Ms Gage said her dogs, called Marley, Apple, Noodles and Teahupoo, had been in her ocean-side yard in Old Man Bay, where she has lived for two years, when they were poisoned.
She had brought two of the dogs from Canada and had adopted the other two from the Cayman Islands Humane Society.