A GRIEVING grandmother is mourning the loss of her dog which she believes was poisoned in a field.

Pam Richards, of Applerow, Leigh, said she has lost her “sole companion” when her collie-cross Millie died in her arms.

Millie was in a field behind Eastwood Junior School where it is suspected she came into contact with food laced with poison.

Mrs Richards, 85, said: “It’s criminal. I have never witnessed a type of screeching like it, that will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Mrs Richards had taken Millie for a walk in a field behind the school, but not on the school grounds, on Tuesday at about 11am.

Despite wearing a muzzle to stop her from scavenging, Millie somehow found and ate what Mrs Richards described as looking like a chicken casserole near the school car park.

The effects were almost immediate. By 1.30pm when Mrs Richards took her to Belfairs Park for her second walk of the day, she was sluggish and vomiting.

On Wednesday she became weaker, and Mrs Richards called her vets first thing the next day.

She said: “As I was on the phone she started to shake uncontrollably in front of me. I held her and she died.

“This little dog was my sole companion. I am absolutely devastated.”

Vets said immediately that Millie had died of poisoning. Mrs Richards has reported it to the police who are due to take a statement from her today **Mon march 9**.

Echo: Pam Richards

This latest incident comes as mum of two Nathalie Palmer, 32, had to put down her dog Hope after suffering poisoning symptoms following a walk in Hadleigh Country Park, and other incidents have been reported in Southchurch Park, Southend, and Cherry Orchard Way, Rochford.

The Echo also reported the death of two perfectly healthy ponies, Zeus and Jacob, who vets believe were poisoned in a field in Ashingdon.


Mrs Richards said: “There have been so many reports of this kind of thing happening but why do people feel the need to do this? Do they get pleasure out of it? Is it vindictive? I have no bad blood with anyone.

“It was callous and cruel.”

Police searched the field behind Eastwood School today and found a bowl of chicken laced with anti-freeze, Mrs Richards said.

Officers have urged residents to report incidents of suspected poisoning to them, while pet owners are also encouraged to contact their vets as soon as symptoms arise.