If you have a dog and live near a park, chances are you take your pet for long walks outdoors. The fresh, crisp winter air is beneficial for both you and your dog. Your pet can burn off stored-up energy and get exercise too. Plus, dogs love sniffing about their surroundings. Given their curious nature, they might snatch something from the ground. Even the most vigilant owner can’t control their dog when a tasty edible morsel is under their nose. Good luck in grabbing it from their mouths.

Usually, there’s little to no harm to be found at your local park, but for residents in one park in Great Britain, someone saw several piles of bread laced with rat poison pellets scattered on the ground. This concerned citizen thought it prudent to contact the local authorities.

The Sussex Police department issued this urgent warning on social media to all pet owners and dog walkers: ‘Warning for dog walkers in Preston Park, Brighton, Sussex. We have received a call this morning that multiple piles of bread with rat poison were found.

If you believe your pet has been poisoned, it’s recommended you firstly remain calm and remove your pet from the source of the poison. Next, immediately contact your vet and tell them how, where and when your dog was poisoned. If possible, take along the source of the contamination with you. However, don’t risk harming yourself. Don’t try and treat your pet yourself. This includes medicating them. Pets don’t respond the same way to human medication as we do.

Be sure to keep your pet away from other animals to avoid cross-contamination. And always follow your veterinarian’s advice.

Social media responded with disgust for this individual who dared seek to harm animals on Christmas day of all days. Tracie Farrelly said: ‘What horrible individuals. They should be made to eat it.

‘Trying to poison people’s pets. What about the poor birds, squirrels, etc. that may eat it.’

Some people are just sick. There’s no reason for why they find pleasure in harming animals or other human beings. Parks are supposed to be a safe place where pet owners, dog walkers, and animals can walk and play without fearing an animal becoming ill. Keep a close eye on your precious pets to avoid anything like this ever happening to them.