The driver of a red hatchback could be responsible for the dog poisoning in the Ham area, according to the RSPCA inspector investigating the deaths.

An anonymous caller to the RSPCA last week reported the sighting of someone feeding foxes from the car near the Hamlands wooded area on a few occasions.

The RSPCA inspector, Phil Norman, said: "It would appear someone is feeding the foxes from the hatchback on a regular basis, but we don't know what they were feeding them." Poisoning foxes is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of £2,000.

There are three confirmed cases of dogs being fatally poisoned after walking on the Hamlands wooded area.

This week Surrey Comet printed posters to warn dog owners about the threat, after another Ham dog owner came forward this week, saying his dog became ill after going for a walk in the area, bringing the total number of dogs affected to five.

Dan McCarthy from Ham took his dog Candy for a walk around Hamlands on Wednesday, January 24.

Candy fell ill and was taken to the vet who gave her two injections and some medication, but her owner remains shaken up.

He said: "It was quite disturbing really. She had severe diarrhoea, sickness and was very lethargic.

"She was sitting in the room not wanting to move. She is better now though."

Mr McCarthy said that now the number of dogs affected has risen to five, the council should be doing more. He said: "Somebody should be investigating it as it seems something is going on in our local area. Somebody has to find the route of all this and nip it in the bud."

A spokesman for the council said it was waiting for the RSPCA to receive lab results about poisoning. He said: "We continue to monitor the area, checking for anything out of the ordinary."

Was your pet poisoned in Hamlands? Call Lisa Williams on 020 8330 9550.

Diary of death and disaster

- October 23, 2006 - Maxine Webb took her black miniature schnauzer, Kofi, for a walk by Hamlands and the river. He fell ill and died a week later.

- Mid December - Another mysterious dog death was reported to the council.

- December 27, 2006 - Pat Hilton took her black labrador, Sam, for a walk in Hamlands. He fell ill and died the next day.

- January 11, 2007 - Jackie Robinson's dog became ill with diarrhoea and lethargy, but recovered in a couple of days.

- January 17, 2007 - Carole Allen of Dog and Groom called for warning signs, but the council said there were no plans.

- January 24, 2007 - Dan McCarthy took his dog Candy for walk in the area. She fell ill with diarrhoea and lethargy, but recovered in a couple of days.

- January 24, 2007 - The Surrey Comet prints its own warning signs and distributes them around Ham.