The distraught dog owner warns after her pet is killed by fox bait in Sydney’s Centennial Park

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Distraught dog owner issues chilling warning to other animal lovers after beloved dog Baxter died while visiting one of Sydney’s most popular parks

  • Maria Stretton’s dog Baxter died Saturday after eating fox bait in a park
  • She had taken him to Centennial Park and the nearby Moore and Queens parks
  • Centennial Park confirmed it is not using fox bait for fear of stranger left bait

A dog owner has warned other animal lovers to exercise caution in a popular park after her pet died from eating fox bait.

Maria Stretton and her husband took their beloved six-year-old dog named Baxter to Centennial Park and the adjacent Queens Park and Moore Park in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

But on Thursday, she noticed that Baxter, a Beagle-Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, was sick and took him to the vet right away.

Ms. Stretton said Baxter showed signs of liver dysfunction, not poisoning, but his condition worsened as the days passed.

Six-year-old Baxter tragically died over the weekend after eating fox bait in Sydney’s Centennial Park

She decided to take him back to the vet on Saturday, but he suffered a heart attack and died on the way.

A post-mortem confirmed that Baxter had eaten fox bait and that unfortunately he could not be saved.

Ms. Stretton told Daily Mail Australia that she knew a number of local residents were trying to remove foxes in the area, but had no idea why the bait was left in such a busy park.

‘It’s super difficult [to deal with Baxter’s death] and my four-year-old son asks a lot about him, ”she said.

“We didn’t know there were fox fights, if there were, he would have always stayed on the line.”

She said she contacted park authorities but heard nothing and struggled to talk about Baxter without bursting into tears.

“We can’t do anything for Baxter, but we can help other families,” she said.

She and her husband had taken the beloved little dog around Centennial Park and the adjacent Queens Park and Moore Park in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

She and her husband had taken the beloved little dog around Centennial Park and the adjacent Queens Park and Moore Park in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Amid her grief, Ms. Stretton put out a call on social media to warn other dog owners in the area to avoid the parks.

According to the Centennial Parklands website, no fox bait is used in the area, so locals fear it was the work of a heartless stranger.

Centennial Parklands doesn’t use fox bait. We have a fox control program led by a recognized wild pest control specialist that includes decontamination and soft-jawed traps, ” says the website.

‘We are not conducting fox control work where members of the public or dogs could be affected, the program focuses on fenced-in remnants of bushland and depot. There is no access for dogs to these areas.

“The parks ensure that animal ethics, environmental and safety considerations are part of the fox control work.”

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the park for further comment.

Ms. Stretton has made an appeal on social media to warn dog users to stay away from the Centennial Parklands area after the loss of her beloved pet

Ms. Stretton has made an appeal on social media to warn dog users to stay away from the Centennial Parklands area after the loss of her beloved pet

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