A pet owner who fears her dog may have been poisoned is calling on others to be more vigilant when taking their pets for a walk.
Lisa Lovell feared the worst for Chewbacca, her 10-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, after he took ill at Christmas.
The mum-of-one at first put it down to an enlarged prostate following advice from a vet, but since then fears the family pet may have been poisoned after it is thought he may have eaten something left in bushes in Mowbray Park in South Shields.
She has also had raw mincemeat left on the doorstep of her South Shields home around the same time.
Now, constantly aware of where she is walking her dog, she says she has spotted food stuff left on walkways within Mowbray park, where she and other dog walkers frequent with their pets.
She said: “I never thought anyone would want to cause harm to an animal which is why it never entered my head when I took him to the vets.
“I’m sure if I thought he had been poisoned the vet would have done more tests to see if that was the case.
“He was so poorly, I really didn’t think he would pull through. I honestly thought we were going to lose him.
“Since it’s happened I have noticed food stuff is being left on paths in the park, I have seen in-date packets of ham and other items like bread. Each time, I pick it up and put it in the bin.
“And the raw mincemeat has left me concerned. Somebody has placed it there as it was in the middle of the doorstep. If it had been thrown it would have been over the garden. I’d dread to think what would have happened if he had managed to eat it.
“Chewbacca is a large dog, but even a small amount of poison made him severely ill, if he was a smaller dog he may not have survived.”
She added since her dog became ill she has been made aware of other pet owners who fear their dogs may have fallen to the same fate.
She added: “I have been told of a few cases and there was some mention of poison being left in Readhead Park.
“All I want to do, by coming forward, is to warn others to be more vigilant and if they see their dog eating something to take it off them straight away.”
The incident of the raw mince meat has been reported to Northumbria Police by Lisa.