DOG owner Richard Osborn has told of his horror after his puppy fell 30ft at a country park.
He was on a walk with seven month old Benji at Staunton Country Park, in Leigh Park, when the dog jumped over a low wall.
But behind that wall was a 30ft drop and the pup fell and landed on his head. He suffered a fractured skull, broken leg, and bleeding on the lungs.
Now Hampshire County Council, which runs the park, has vowed to make the area safer.
Mr Osborn, 42, of Billy Lawn Avenue, Leigh Park, said: ‘We wanted to take Benji for a walk round the lake so we walked through the main gate and all the way down to the footpath.
‘Although the old Staunton House has gone there are still some of the original steps that take you down to the lower level of the gardens towards the lake.
‘To the right and left of the steps there’s a good 30ft drop.
‘If you were a child or a dog and were standing 10ft back from the low wall as you look out to the lower level it all looks one height.
‘Benji jumped straight over the wall and landed on his head. I thought he was dead. His back end went over his head.’
Benji spent two nights at the vets after the accident last Wednesday. Animal charity PDSA covered the bill of nearly £400.
Mr Osborn added: ‘Since the accident we’ve spoken to so many people in Leigh Park whose dogs have done the same thing.
‘But it could so easily have been a child and I’m not sure they would get over a fall like that. There is a sign to say beware of the drop but it’s on a bin and it’s not very clear.’
In a statement Hampshire Cllr Keith Chapman, who’s responsible for the park, said Mr Osborn’s complaint had been taken very seriously.
He added: ‘We had already recognised that the terrace was a risk and have drawn up plans and secured funding to make the area safer.
‘However, due to the nature of the park’s historic building and its surroundings, which are protected by law, and before we can go ahead with the necessary works, the relevant consent needs to be secured and we are working hard to obtain these approvals.
‘In the meantime we will be looking at the signage around the area, as the safety of both the public and their pets is extremely important to us.
‘We are sorry for the injury caused to the dog and really hope that they make a speedy recovery and will continue using Staunton Country Park.’
Although Benji is still unable to walk and in a lot of pain Mr Osborn said: ‘It’s just such a relief they are going to do something about it.’