PET owners are being warned to be vigilant when walking their dogs and to keep them on leads, after several incidents involving animals being poisoned on the Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is investigating but unable to give further details of the poisoning of a dog in Tootgarook.
It is not the first-time pets have been targeted, with a number of dogs poisoned in recent years in Mount Martha and Mornington after eating animal remains believed to be baited with rat poison.
Mornington Peninsula Dog Rescue group is warning of a spike in dog baiting.
The group is aware of dog baiting (leaving meat poisoned with toxins such as fox bait) on walking tracks or parks from Melbourne down to the peninsula.
Spokesperson Erin Shaw said there were always people who deliberately harmed dogs, and owners needed to be aware. She said it was important to keep dogs on leads in public places.
Dog owners have also reported pets being affected by puffer fish, dead or alive, washed up on shores around the peninsula, and presenting a risk to pets who are attracted to the smell.
Puffer fish are toxic to animals and humans and should not be touched.
A dog was rushed to a Rosebud vet last week after picking up a washed-up puffer fish on Rosebud beach.
The barbs from the fish can still inject poison after being removed and there is no antidote to puffer fish toxins, which can cause severe illness and death. Symptoms can start within 20 minutes to two hours after eating the fish.
One poster of a Rosebud Facebook page suggested people wear gloves or use stick to carefully pick up and bin dead puffer fish they find on beaches.