“It’s taken me a few days to be able to write this but I want to share so people can be aware.
My partner and I are currently driving from Mandurah WA to QLD to start a new adventure. We are travelling with our 3 dogs – our Maremma, Samoyed and Whippet.
After a great day on the beach at Esperance WA, we decided to carry on to Norseman. We got to about 70kms south of there and decided to pull in to a salt lake to camp.
It didn’t look like anyone had been there for months, but it was a lovely spot and the dogs were having a ball running on the lake. They didn’t go off by themselves – we were there the whole time.
At 5pm, Gus our Maremma came over with what looked like a poo in his mouth. He swallowed it before I could stop him. We walked back to set up camp. That night we decided to put the Whippet and Samoyed in the back of our truck so Gus and ourselves could have some more space in the cab.
At 1am, we were woken by Gus howling. We thought someone was outside, but he jumped into the back and weed and pooed all over us. I instantly knew something was wrong. He sat in the corner for a minute howling and foaming at the mouth. I knew straight away that it was the 1080 bait he’d eaten earlier that day.
We were terrified… he looked wild. He was running around the cab hitting the windscreen and was out of control. He started having seizures and bleeding from the mouth. I had to lay on him to hold him down. My partner had his head in his arm whilst he tried to drive to the vets. We only made it 200m. Within 10 minutes he had died in our arms.
It was the most traumatic and terrifying night of our lives. We are devastated. We had to burn all our bedding and disinfect the whole cab as even his saliva could be fatal to our other animals.
The worst part is that I am so aware of 1080 and have muzzles for all of our dogs. We NEVER stop where we see 1080 signs. This place had no sign. It was a nature reserve. We thought it would be OK and took his muzzle off so he could run freely before chaining them up at camp… I should have known better.
1080 is the worst way for any animal to die. It is the most horrific thing to witness. It should be banned.
I hope this experience can help people understand that bait can be anywhere. Even birds can carry it and it can be in dead animal carcasses. Please be careful taking your dogs out. Please keep them safe.
RIP our beautiful Gus. We will always miss you 💕”.