COMMENT: Council must take concerns of dog owners seriously

They say a dog is a man's best friend and we certainly grow very attached to our four-legged companions.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 12:00 am

Take Helen Yates and her partner Andy Griffiths from Stubbington. They were smitten by Pablo and went to great lengths to give the rescue dog a loving home back in March.

So imagine their consternation when, just a few months later, he became ill after a walk. They ended up rushing him to the vets and spending £1,400 on treatment to save him.

Not surprisingly, they wanted to know what had caused Pablo to become sick so suddenly. When Andy noticed weeds on their usual route turning brown, they suspected Pablo had reacted badly after possible contact with weedkiller.

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Was this a one-off? Well, seemingly not. Another resident, Chris Jones, has told how his dog Teddy also became sick after a walk locally. He too had to be rushed to the vets and Chris suspects he may have been poisoned by weedkiller.

It certainly seems more than a coincidence that two dogs living in the same road should fall ill after going for a walk.

Now a Facebook group called ‘Suddenly Sick Dogs Gosport and Fareham Areas’ has been set up and other pet owners are sharing similar stories.

So what's going on? Fareham Borough Council says it has investigated its use of weedkiller, which contains the widely-used chemical glysophate, and found that it was likely not to be at fault.

That isn’t going to allay the fears of dog owners, who are now calling on the council to further review its use of the weedkiller - and to notify people with signs when spraying is taking place.

Then they can avoid certain areas when taking their dogs out.

We hope the council takes their concerns seriously and at the very least agrees to put up warning signs.