A couple have issued a warning to pet owners after their beloved rescue dog was poisoned.
Megan, a seven-year-old greyhound, had to be put to sleep after swallowing toxic anti-freeze.
Her heart-broken owners Paul Reddish, 32 and Katy Grenville, 26, of Haddon Road, North Wingfield, believe the retired racing dog may have eaten tainted food laced with the chemical that had been thrown in to their garden.
The pair took their pet to Alfreton Park Veterinary Hospital on Friday believing she had sun stroke, as she had been quiet and off her food that day.
But test confirmed she had been poisoned, causing fatal kidney failure.
Paul said: “We didn’t believe it could be anti-freeze as we don’t keep it. She hadn’t been for a walk since Thursday evening and would have been affected over night if she had eaten anything then so we are convinced it was Friday morning.
“All we can assume is that someone threw something over the fence.”
He added: “She was a really loving. gentle dog. We treated her like our child.
“She was not a dog that went in to the garden barking, she didn’t disturb anybody.”
The couple, who hope to adopt another dog from the Retired Greyhound Trust, have been door knocking in the neighbourhood to warn other pet owners.
One resident said they lost a cat a month ago due to anti-freeze poisoning and a further two cats had also been poisoned a couple of years ago.
Police have now launched an investigation.
A spokesman for Derbyshire constabulary said: “If an animal has been deliberately targeted we take it very seriously.
“An officer is going to put up posters in the area to see if anyone has any information.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “We offer our sympathy to the owner as this would have been very distressing.
“We would urge anyone with any information to call the RSPCA cruelty line in confidence on 0300 1234 999.”
She added signs of antifreeze poisoning can start to show after 30 minutes.
“The RSPCA are deeply concerned and extremely saddened by the recent spates of antifreeze poisonings across the country.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that antifreeze poisoning can cause animals pain, suffering and distress, ultimately resulting in their death. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 themaximum penalty for anyone found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of £20,000,” she said.