Poison scare: Two more dogs die

Jessie, one of the pets that has died after visiting Burton Rigs Nature Reserve.
Jessie, one of the pets that has died after visiting Burton Rigs Nature Reserve.

TWO more dog owners have come forward to warn against visiting a beauty spot after their dogs died.

Duncan Hanson, 41, of Crossgates, and Graham Poole, 54, from Langtoft, near Driffield, were left devastated after their dogs, German shepherd Riley and Jessie, a spaniel, died shortly after visiting Burton Riggs Nature Reserve at Crossgates.

Riley the German Shepherd

Riley the German Shepherd

Following the deaths of three dogs, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust today advised the public not to take any pets there until there has been an investigation.

Mr Hanson said: “I used to take Riley up there all the time as it’s just next to where I work, and he’d always been fine. He went running into the water, but when he came out he collapsed and started to fit and foam at the mouth.

“I rushed Riley home, but by the time I’d arrived he had already died.”

Mr Poole walked eight-year-old spaniel Jessie in the nature reserve up to three times a week. However, after another trip, Jessie suddenly fell ill.

“We took her to the vets where they said she was very ill and was bleeding internally and her liver had failed.

“They had to put her to sleep.”

He added: “It just seems a bit of a coincidence as she was very fit and seemed very healthy up until last weekend.”

The pair came forward after the Evening News reported the death of Christopher Lee’s dog Lacey, who died following a walk in Burton Riggs on Monday evening.

And in 2007, two spaniels were killed in the area after being poisoned. Subsequent tests carried out in Burton Riggs were inconclusive at the time.

Now Mr Hanson has called for new tests to be carried out in the area to find out exactly what is causing these deaths. “There has to be something there that’s causing dogs to die.”

“Riley hadn’t even turned one yet. Dogs don’t just die like that, especially pups.”

A post-mortem examination wasn’t carried out on Riley, however the similarities between the deaths have lead no doubt in Mr Hansons mind as to what killed the puppy.

“It’s obvious to me that she’s been poisoned.

“How else do you explain a young dog who’s happy one second, and before you know it, you’re burying her?”

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which runs the reserve, have promised to investigate the cause of the suspected poisonings, and have urged dog walkers to stay away from Burton Riggs until the matter is resolved.

Jonathan Leadley, Head of Fundraising and Communications for the trust, said: “Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is advising the public not to take dogs to their Burton Riggs nature reserve while it investigates whether there is a link to a recent dog poisoning incident in the local area.

“Water samples have been taken and will be analysed, and notices will be posted on site warning visitors of the potential risk and to not take dogs on to the nature reserve.”