FAMILY PET: Ernie 'helping' the Hucklebridge family stack the dishwasher.
FAMILY PET: Ernie 'helping' the Hucklebridge family stack the dishwasher. Contributed

Family 'distraught' upon finding their dog dead

THERE'S nothing worse than the moment you call out for your dog and are met with silence.

For one Mooloolah family this happened in the early hours of the morning when they couldn't find their lovable cocker spaniel Ernie.

The family, Emma and Dylan Hucklebridge and their four children, were "too distraught" to recount the incident when they found their beloved pet dead on the front lawn.

Emma's brother James Daniel said it was important for the community to be alert for dog baiting in the area after the "horrific" incident.

"My sister woke up with her kids and they found the dog covered in fluro blue vomit. She called dad to handle it from there because she knew they couldn't touch Ernie," he said.

James' concern is that Ernie may have been targeted and urges any neighbours who may have issues with other people's pets to address them directly or go to the authorities.

"I can understand if someone has a problem with a dog, but they should call the council or RSPCA before doing something like this," he said.

The love for cocker spaniels has always been in the family - his dad also had the placid pooches around according to James.

"They're such kind, loving animals and it was only a puppy. We're all dog lovers and have had dogs our whole lives," he said.

"It's the most horrible death for anyone to go through.

We need to let the township of Mooloolah know someone's baiting dogs, there's a horrible person going around doing it," he said.

The RSPCA's website states "if you suspect or know that your dog or cat has eaten a poison bait, you must contact your nearest veterinarian immediately".

"Do not delay action or wait for your pet to exhibit symptoms."

Signs of poisoning can be: vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperature, lethargy, rapid breathing, abdominal pain or abnormal behaviour.

For after hours, Animal Emergency Service can be contacted on 5445 1333.