Burglars are using rat poison to kill pets so they can raid homes in the Finn Valley area.
A number of homes have been targeted in the already using the blocks of poison to quieten dogs so the thieves can ransack homes.
One horrified homeowner has revealed how he discovered a number of blocks of the poison in his garden outside Lifford this week.
It came just hours after his German Shepherd dog, Kaiser, went berserk outside his home while his wife and one of their children was inside.
Paul Smyth was out of his home but his wife Tina was left spooked when the dog began barking so much.
The trained guard-dog did not eat the bait but next morning Paul found the gruesome discovery in his garden.
The horrified dad-of-two said he has no doubt that burglars were trying to break into his home or the homes of neighbours close-by.
He told Donegal Daily “That’s what they were doing and that’s as low as they are going now. Make no mistake, these people have not gone away and they will do anything to get what they are looking for.”
Thankfully Paul’s dog was lucky and did not swallow the poison blocks (which is sometimes mixed up in food).
However, he says he has heard of two other dogs which were poisoned recently in the nearby village of Convoy before the house was broken into.
Paul said he is outraged that such people are giving absolutely no thought to the fact that young children could easily pick up the poison in gardens and swallow it.
“Children could easily put this stuff in their mouths. But obviously the scum who did this don’t think about that or the consequences,” he said.
He also pointed to the fact that if the burglars had poisoned his dog, that they would have come across his wife and one of the couple’s children in their house.
“When you break in and find my wife and one of my children, what is your plan then? Run? Beat her up? How exactly do you plan on dealing with my wife who is not easily intimidated and who would do anything to protect our children?” he asked.
Paul has encouraged people to fit sensor alarms but also to use common sense such as leaving lights on when they are out of their homes or away.
But he also has a message for the criminals who are looking to prey on vulnerable people in their homes in rural Ireland.
“Yes the Guards are understaffed and response times could be better, two reasons why you do what you do. The thing is, I don’t care about how quickly the Guards respond, the longer they take, the better we will get to know each other…and there are many decent citizens like me who feel the same way,” he said.
This is Paul’s full, realistic and honest Facebook posting.
PLEASE READ THIS
I don’t post to facebook very often, however I feel I have something worth sharing.
Last night someone mistakenly thought my home was empty, they took it upon themselves to try and kill my guard dog by feeding him with blue block type rat poison ( which I found in my yard this morning), with the intention then of presumably breaking into my home.
Fortunately my dog is an intellegent pure breed, unlike whoever tried to to kill him, so he didn’t fall for this trap and stood his ground.
I’ve been thinking about this all day, and then wondered, from the criminals point of view, just how much thought you put into breaking into someone’s home:
1. So you’ve picked my home and have killed my dog ( which makes me want to do all kinds of things to you already) to steal who knows what. Did you notice the trampolene, swings and slide in the garden? This means I have children, right? So are my children old enough to know not to eat the rat poison in the yard lying beside their bicycles? Or do I have young toddlers who could quite easily pick up the bright blue poisonous block and stick it in their mouth?
2. So you targeted my house last night because it looked empty, right? But it wasn’t empty. When you break in and find my wife and one of my children, what is your plan then? Run? Beat her up? How exactly do you plan on dealing with my wife who is not easily intimidated and who would do anything to protect our children?
You know, I don’t even want to think about any of the possibilities that I have just mentioned.
To everyone one of you decent people out there who have read this, I offer you my own personal advice:
1. Stay vigilant ALWAYS
2. Keep your front and back doors locked always, not just at night.
3. Keep the outside of your house well lit, especially during the dark winters.
4. Know your 24 hour Garda station number
5. Join your local Community alert group so you are aware of what is going on in your own area. If your area doesn’t have one, create one with the assistance of the local Guards
6. If you see someone acting suspiciously during the day,make it obvious to them that you have seen them (from the safety of your home). Use your phone to take a photo of them, criminals hate cameras and that will soon shift them. If they are innocent then no harm done.
7. If you hear a disturbance at night, open your curtains, let whoever is out there know that you are alert and aware of their presence. If you have a torch shine it out the window, even if you can’t see them, they will see you and know they have been rumbled.
8. If you are going out for the night, or away for a few days, and want to tell your facebook friends, then make sure your post is set to “friends only”. A “public” post is exactly that…everyone and anyone will know you are not home, not just your facebook friends.
Personally, to the scum that tried to kill my dog and whatever else you had planned for last night, I say this:
1. As citizens of this country we are legally entitled to defend our families and homes with reasonable force
2. You spend your days looking for criminal opportunities to present themselves to you, you only have to meet the wrong type of homeowner once for things to go awfully wrong for you.
3. Yes the Guards are understaffed and response times could be better, two reasons why you do what you do. The thing is, I don’t care about how quickly the Guards respond, the longer they take, the better we will get to know each other…and there are many decent citizens like me who feel the same way.
I am fortunate to live in an area where we as neighbours look out for each other, we are part of a community alert group which keeps us updated of all local suspicious activity and vehicles.
Be safe and stay vigilant!