'He died as I held him': Cruel death after mailbox threats
TWO threatening letters came nine months apart.
"Shut your f---ing dogs up or they will get reported. $250 fine. If that doesn't work, they will get some baits dropped over the fence and that will shut them up," one of the letters read.
Brooke Anderson never suspected the letters, which came in November last year and July this year, would actually lead to the death of her family's two jack russell dogs.
On Saturday night, Ms Anderston returned to her Wheeler Dr home at Glenella after taking part in Obstacle Hell.
They had forgotten to put their dogs Lucky, Jackie and Sasha in the kennel.
Ms Anderson said Lucky was acting a bit funny and he could not jump onto his bed.
When he began to seize, they jumped into action.
Ms Anderson said they thought he had bitten a cane toad.
After washing out his mouth, Lucky was fine for a while, but he started to seize up again.
"His heart just stopped," she said. "He just died while I was holding him."
Her dad took the dog, and Lucky's heart started again, but only for a moment.
"He was in absolute pain," Glen Anderson said.
"His heartbeat was a million miles an hour, rock solid.
"He knew we were trying to help but he couldn't get his mouth open so we had to force his mouth open.
"When he died I was holding him so I felt his heart stop. He was dead for maybe five seconds and then his heart started up again, and he looked up at me and wagged his tail.
"That was the moment I thought, 'He's going to pull through!'
"And then to feel the heart stop, and his body go limp. He died all over again."
Lucky died at about 8.40pm Saturday in his arms.
But they still could not find Jackie.
About 6.30am the next day, they found Jackie dead near the pot plants.
"I don't know if I feel more upset or more angry," she said.
"They don't deserve that to happen to them.
"Dogs will bark, they don't understand our rules."
Mr Anderson said he was also worried someone had been surveilling the house.
"It's an extremely cruel death, excruciating and cruel and totally unethical," he said.
"If (the baiter) wanted to deal with the problem he could have knocked on our door and talked to us.
"But this is beyond reason. It's sadistic.
"The person who's done this has taken away a family member.
"We've had these dogs for a long time. You come home every day and the dog is always there to greet you.
"Now they're just gone.
"It's not the same as dying of old age when it dies in your arms. To see the life go out of an animal while you're holding it is very hard."
Ms Anderson said the person who allegedly baited the dogs could have spoken to them. Despite both letters threatening to report them, she said it never happened.
When they realised the similarities between the two notes, they contacted the police.
Ms Anderson said the vet who conducted the autopsy found chunks of meat in their stomachs that did not match the regular diet of Lucky and Jackie.
Since posting on the Lost and Found Pets - Mackay and Surrounding Districts Facebook page about the deaths, Ms Anderson had been contacted by three other people who have received similar notes.
Mackay police have released CCTV that shows a person delivering a document to the house, and have asked anyone with information to come forward.
"Anyone with any further information related to the suspected baiting of the dogs or threats made to their owners is also urged to contact police," a Queensland Police Services spokesperson said.
Lucky was owned by Ms Anderson's brother Selby, and her sister Jessica owned Jackie.
They had been with the family for 11 years.
If you have any information about the alleged baiting, phone Policelink on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 and quote QP1901847823.
- additional reporting from Nic Darveniza