A dog owner is heartbroken after his pet died following a walk at a nature reserve.
Christopher Lee, 45, of Seamer, wants to know how a routine dog walk turned into a tragedy, recalling that two spaniels died after being poisoned in the area in 2007.
He said: “I feel that there has to be something wrong with that reserve for my dog just to drop down dead.”
He was out walking with his beloved collie cross, Lacey, at the picturesque Burton Riggs Nature Reserve at Crossgates, near Morrisons supermarket. After returning home, Mr Lee noticed Lacey was having a fit in the back of the car. He rushed the dog to Pets At Home for treatment but the six-year-old was declared dead of heart failure.
He added: “I’ve heard of other people taking their dogs to the lakes and some of them have been killed too. You don’t and shouldn’t expect to be burying your dog when you get home after taking it out for a walk.”
Mr Lee said another of his dogs, Lacey’s mother, Sally, became ill herself following a walk there six years ago. It was only the speed in which she arrived at the vets that saved her life that day.
“I noticed that Lacey was chewing on something, but I couldn’t tell what it was was,” he said. “It could have been a fish from the nearby water.
“Whatever it was, it’s possible that it’s what poisoned my dog.”
An autopsy was not carried out on the pet, meaning it is unclear what caused her heart to fail. However, the vet concluded that poisoning was possible.
Mr Lee has raised concerns that this may not be the last incident of its kind. “It just seems like there has to be something there if so many dogs are falling ill,” he said.
Officers from the Environment Agency took samples of water from the lake at Burton Riggs following the dog deaths in 2007, but nothing conclusive was found.
Scarborough RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond said that “natural, seasonal toxins may be present” currently in dog walking areas and urged dog owners to cast a close eye on what their pets put in their mouths when out walking.