Residents on Vancouver Island believe someone is poisoning dogs after one canine was put down after eating what is believed to be rat poison.

The dog, Griffin, from the remote First Nations community of Kyuquot, was put down after a vet decided it was too sick to recover.

The animal was rescued from a settlement on the island’s north west coast by Nick Templeman, a tourism operator, who saw a plea for help on social media and took the pet to a vet.

Templeman was crushed to learn that hours later Griffin was put down.

“What I saw when I got to Fair Harbour was just an emaciated bag of bones,” Templeman told CTV News Vancouver Island.

“Very skinny, you could see all his ribs, he had a hard time walking and he didn’t have much energy.”

Templeman believes the dog had been neglected for some time.

“Lots of people knew what was going on but nobody really offered to help,” he said.

Maggie Mae, a Vancouver Island woman who rescues dogs, has made the dire prediction that several more dogs will be poisoned before the end of the summer.

She told CTV News Vancouver Island that it happens every year around this time in the tiny Indigenous community, where she also helps to spay and neuter pets.

“I don’t know who is doing the intentional poisonings,” Mae said.

"It's horrible. Last summer I had a puppy bleed out on my lap and he was bleeding from his mouth and his bum and there was nothing we could do.”

A spokesperson for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) confirmed they received a complaint about what happened to Griffin and the group will be investigating.

“We need to help them (pet owners in Kyuquot) somehow deal with this cycle,” Templeman added.

“If they can’t help themselves, then we can help somehow. But we can’t have this continue.”