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Careless anglers endanger dogs’ lives

A DOG OWNER launched a furious attack on careless anglers after her dog swallowed two fishing hooks left on a public riverbank by thoughtless fishermen.

Sarah Williamson had to pay £2,000 for her two-year-old black Labrador Maisy to have three major operations and is now demanding answers.

Mrs Williamson, from Broad Street, Pershore in Worcestershire, had gone for a walk with her four-year-old son George but it turned into a nightmare

"We were walking along the River Avon, by Pershore Bridge, towards the weir," she said. "My dog went down onto the riverbank and swallowed two fish hooks, the vet thought they were pike hooks because there were four hooks on each.

"There was a foot of line on each so they had been cut off and left, they must have left some bait on them because Maisy wouldn't have swallowed them otherwise. I could see a hook in her mouth which was dragging her tongue to one side and I could see two lines hanging from her mouth so I knew she had swallowed another one."

Maisy was taken to a vet where she had the hook removed from her mouth.

X-rays showed the second hook quite far down oesophagus and Maisy was transferred to the Animal Hospital in Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire, where she underwent a second, unsuccessful, operation that lasted two and a half hours.

She then had another operation to remove the second hook.

Mrs Williamson added: "I'm absolutely furious because it has been terrible for my family, we didn't know if Maisy was going to make it. We've paid £2,000 so far and she has to go back for another endoscopy and could need another operation.

"The money is not an issue for us because she is a much-loved pet but it might have been for a lot of people or it could have been for a fox or a swan which had swallowed them and might have died a horrible death."

Nick Green, a member of the Jubilee Angling Club and co-owner of Pershore's only fishing tackle shop, said he was "surprised and upset" by the incident.

"I can say that 99 per cent of anglers are responsible people who care bout what they do," he said. "I can't see any of them leaving hooks lying around like this."

But he said the fishing rights on that stretch of the Avon were owned by Birmingham Fishing Club.

"The result is that although there are a lot of local anglers who know what they are doing, there are others who are not so aware of the countryside code," added Mr Green. "Any responsible angler would deplore this sort of behaviour."