PET owners in South Tyneside are being asked to stay calm but vigilant after fears were raised on the internet that dogs are being poisoned.
Over the past few days, warning messages have appeared on a social networking site, claiming poison had been placed on Cleadon Hills, The Leas at Marsden, and around Temple Park, South Shields.
However, vets and the council’s animal welfare officers say they have not found any truth in the claims – but are urging people to get in contact if they spot anything suspicious.
Becki Hodson, a nurse partner at Vets 4 Pets in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, says none of her clients have brought in dogs suffering the effects of poisoning.
She said: “We haven’t seen anything to make us think that someone is poisoning dogs, so we are awaiting further evidence.
“There is a sickness and diarrhoea bug going around at the moment, so a lot of animals are feeling poorly because of this. If anyone has concerns about their pets, then we would urge them to seek medical advice as quickly as possible.”
The notices, which have been written in various ways, also suggest that people are putting the poison down rabbit holes and behind Cleadon Water Tower.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman added: “The council has been made aware of the recent Facebook speculation about a spate of potential dog poisonings in parts of the borough.
“If dog owners have any concerns they are advised to keep their pets on a short lead, and can muzzle them to avoid the animal picking anything up off the ground.
“If people do find any suspicious materials they should report them to council animal welfare officers.
“We have contacted all the local vets and there have been no official reports of dogs being admitted with symptoms related to poisoning.
“It seems to be speculation with no confirmation of any case to date.”