MOn the morning of September 16th, Olaf Peukert does his normal round in Frankfurt’s Bonifatiuspark with his dog Blacky. By evening Blacky was dead. Poisoned by bait he ate while out walking. This morning the dog is still playing in the dog meadow in the park, sniffing here and there. In between he disappears under a bench, but Peukert thinks nothing of it. Other walkers warn him that there is something strange about the benches.
Peukert looks when Blacky sniffs, but sees nothing. Under a bench is what looks like a broken piece of wall, dry and whitish in places. Nothing you would suspect poison bait. Nevertheless, he pulls his dog away from it, but it has probably already eaten another bait. Already on the way home Blacky is not doing well. He sits there, snorting and shaking. Peukert now knows for sure that his dog died from one of the poisoned baits that had been laid out.
Sharp objects or poison
There are 370 reports of harmful dog bait across Germany for September of this year alone on the Dogorama website. Owners can enter incidents there. The fact that dangerous baits are laid out for dogs is not a new phenomenon, says Barbara Felde, chairwoman of the Hesse State Animal Welfare Association. The baits contain sharp objects that inflict internal wounds on the animals – or poison, as apparently in Bonifatiuspark.
According to various studies, the perpetrators can be divided into two groups: Either they lay out bait that is aimed at any animal. This can be the result of general dog hatred, fear of dogs or irritation at noise or dirt. Other perpetrators specifically look for victims, such as the neighbor’s animal, because it bothers them or because they want revenge. Sadistic tendencies are also mentioned as a cause. In the Bonifatiuspark, several residents suspect that a centrally located free-running meadow for dogs could have angered the perpetrator. Peukert wonders where the dogs should be allowed to run free if even the free-roaming meadow isn’t safe.
Dogs usually die in agony
According to various studies, the fact that someone kills for such a reason is also due to mental disorders or a particularly high level of violence. This can also be dangerous for humans. The University of Vienna, for example, found out that animal abusers, if their aggression is later also directed against humans, commit significantly more serious acts of violence than perpetrators who have not previously appeared as animal abusers. According to the University of Regensburg, people whose behavior deviates greatly from social norms are more likely to torture animals than people without such mental abnormalities.
When dogs eat poison or sharp objects, they usually die in agony. Peukert’s dog Blacky was not quite himself when he arrived at the veterinary clinic and looked at him with “question marks in his eyes”. The Frankfurter reports that he hugged his dog to a doctor’s assistant with the explanation “poisoning symptoms” in the hope that he would soon be fine again. In fact, the last time he saw him alive was in the parking lot.