Four dogs have died and another has been left violently ill after ingesting rat poison following suspected dog baiting in Barrack Heights.
Lake Illawarra Police have been notified of the deaths and will increase their presence in the area.
Terry Treuer was looking after his son's dogs (pictured) in Churchill Circuit but both fell victim to the suspected baiting.
"He was haemorrhaging and carrying on and then just died in front of me.
"We took the other little one home for the night to look after him.
"Seemed alright the next day then he went bad the following day.
"So we raced him off to the vet, they put him on a drip but it was all too late, same thing," Treuer said.
Their deaths doubled the toll in the suburb since the Christmas while Treuer said another fell ill from the poison.
"The next door neighbours one got really ill over Christmas but they got it to the vet in time, it was ok.
"The house in a street right behind him they lost their dog last week, I believe one up the other end of the street around the Christmas period too, same thing," he said.
Treuer said the vet confirmed the pets died from rat poison said dog owners should be aware of the suspected baiting and the signs if a dog ingests the poison.
"If the start shaking, spewing and their poop drop everywhere just turns to waters, that's the first indication.
"You've got to be as quick as lightning as soon as you spot anything like that to get them to the vet straight away," he said.