IT was a sight that would have brought any animal lover to tears—the bodies of dead dogs along the roadway and in nearby bushes, eventually gathered and placed in a pile along the pavement for all in the area to see.
The owner of the animals sat beside his dead "prized possessions", weeping.
This was the scene yesterday in St Ann's in an area known as "The Spring".
In total, 12 dogs were poisoned.
The cause of their demise?
Residents said a man who is well-known in the area was seen minutes before placing cans of sardines for the dogs to eat.
In under five minutes, the animals were frothing from the mouths.
Another five minutes later and they were all dead.
The owner of the dogs, 64-year-old Peterson "Zion" Sanchez, wept uncontrollably as he viewed the bodies of the animals.
He told reporters the man responsible had threatened to kill the animals on numerous occasions.
It was sometime around 10.30 a.m. residents said they saw the man placing the cans of sardines for the animals to consume.
Sanchez said after the death of his dogs, he approached the man and was told, "Go tell the police. You can't prove anything."
Sanchez said he went to the Belmont Police Station to lodge a report but officers told him there was nothing they could do.
"They say they can't do anything about it and that it is a civil matter that I can take up with the court. But you know if anyone of us kill a police dog they would charge us?" Sanchez said.
Residents said Sanchez had been living in the area all his life and loved his pets.
He would rescue stray dogs and care for them with donations he received from members of the community. He also created a refuge for the dogs, said residents.
Sanchez said even if he did not get justice through the justice system, he was confident that the man responsible for killing his pets would eventually face judgement before God.
When the Express visited the man's home, we were told he was not there.
All calls to his cell phone went unanswered.