A dog owner has been left devastated after her “perfect” pet died after swallowing a baited fishing hook left behind by a careless angler.
Jo Scott, 44, was walking with husband Mick on South Shields beach, near the pier, on Sunday morning when their cross mastiff Harry devoured the bait.
When he began to choke, Mr Scott managed to snap the line but, despite rushing the dog to a vet for emergency surgery, Harry had to be put down.
Mrs Scott, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, said: “Even though Mick snapped the line, the hook wouldn’t come out.
“We got him to Ayres Veterinary Hospital in North Shields and they sedated him, but they found the hook had gone through his oesophagus.
“The hole got bigger and bigger and his oxygen kept going down. They said there was a chance he could’ve been brain damaged if he’d been kept alive.”
I just want to raise awareness that these types of accidents can happenJo Scott
Mrs Scott, a drug and alcohol family worker, hopes that telling Harry’s story will encourage more fishermen to be careful about leaving lines on the beach.
Last year, Harry had swallowed another hook on a line, but was saved when a vet managed to get it out after putting him under general anaesthetic.
She added: “I don’t know if this is happening more often because fishermen are leaving the lines or they are just being washed up.”
“But I don’t want to blame anyone. I just want to raise awareness that these types of accidents can happen.
“Nothing will bring Harry back now, but I would hate for anyone to go through the same thing as we are.”
Jo and Mick had re-homed Harry four years ago after he was taken in by Cleadon Kennels.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect dog,” added Jo. “It’s extremely upsetting for us to have lost him.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “This is very sad news. We would appeal to anyone using the beach to take their rubbish and their belongings away with them and not to leave anything which could pose a risk to the safety of others using the area.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “I am sad to hear about the death of this dog and my thoughts are with the dog’s owners at this distressing time.
“Sadly, every year fishing litter like hooks, weights and line cause injury and death to thousands of animals.
“Anglers should never leave hooks, weights or other paraphernalia behind.”