IT is feared that would-be burglars poisoned a family pet so that it could not alert its owners to intruders.
Pet Connection, Newry, posted on their Facebook page that the Jack Russell Terrier 'Noodles', from Bessbrook, lost his life in what is suspected to be intentional poisoning.
His owners have been left in fear that their dog was killed as he would have barked at people who approached the house, and the perpetrators wickedly planted the poison to kill Noodles.
In their Facebook post, Pet Connection explained the circumstances around Noodles' death.
“This morning [Thursday, November 8], Noodles and his terrier brother went out into the garden as usual,” said Pet Connection.
“After a short time, their owner called them into the house, but Noodles didn't respond.
“He was found in his dog house with an extremely swollen stomach, feeling lethargic and ill.”
Noodles was then rushed to the vet and it was discovered that the little dog had been poisoned and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.
The dog's owner then rushed home to collect their other pet to make sure he too was not poisoned but thankfully, he was given the all clear.
Unfortunately, Noodles passed away on Thursday afternoon, “after suffering greatly at the hands of a needless act of cruelty.”
“Noodles did not bark repetitively, upsetting neighbours or causing trouble around his home,” continued Pet Connection.
“Instead, Noodles would kindly bark to alert his owners only if someone approached their home.
“Due to this, and the fact that their other dog remains unharmed, his owners have been left in fear that their brave little dog may have been killed to make way for burglaries in the local area without a dog alerting homeowners to the presence of intruders.
“Noodles' owners have asked us to share this story today, in the hopes that another family will not be left heartbroken by the death of their dog.
“If you have a dog that is likely to be of 'interest' to burglars, whether that would be for alerting homeowners, or for the theft of the actual dog, we would highly recommend supervising them at all times when outdoors.
“Every year we hear of a spate of burglaries and pet thefts as we approach Christmas, so home security and protection of ourselves and our pets should be at the forefront of our minds.”