AN ANIMAL rescue charity is warning dog owners to keep their pets on a lead after one heartbroken family lost their beloved lurcher when it went over cliffs in Seaford.
The 15-month-old’s body was retrieved from the bottom of cliffs at Hope Gap on Saturday by Lucy Dunk from Seaford Dog Rescue (SDR).
The animal was being looked after by a family friend who had come to the coast to go fishing and brought the dog with him.
But once it became dark the dog could not be found and they had to return home without it.
Sue Phillips who set up Seaford Dog Rescue with Lucy Dunk, is urging owners to be aware of the dangers.
She said, “Lucy, her daughter and some passersby had to carry the dog’s body back to the car park, take him home and wait for the owner’s family to come and collect him.
“There was a lot of tears shed when they arrived.
“This is so very heartbreaking for all those involved. I know the coast guards have to retrieve so very many, either from the rocks or the sea itself.”
Sue and Lucy decided to set up SDR after learning how the dog warden would come across several strays.
Their aim is to get foster families on board so the four-legged animals can be temporarily re-homed before a long-term solution is found.
They also foster and rehome cats occasionally too.
Sue added, “My husband lost his dog at Hope Gap 20 years ago, the dog Rocky was chasing a rabbit. The rabbits dart down holes over the edge of the cliff, the dogs are too engrossed in the rabbit, they fail to see the cliff edge and run right off it.
“It doesn’t matter how well behaved their dogs are, any dog can be distracted. Keep them on a lead at all times.”