A wildlife rescuer is urging pet owners to be vigilant following a report that a dog died after being poisoned on the Cuckoo Trail.
The beloved pet of one Hailsham resident is believed to have died soon after being taken for a walk along the popular trail.
Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service, said it was important for owners to be aware of possible symptoms and get in touch with a veterinary practice as soon as possible if there were any concerns.
He said, “The problem is the symptoms are not very clear in the early stages.
“An animal that is lethargic could be showing the early signs of poisoning, at least by phoning the vet initially if you have concerns you can get an opinion.
“We see poisoning in foxes all the time and rarely does the animal survive and that’s perhaps because it’s not seen until the later stages.
“If people are vigilant with domestic animals there’s a better chance of an animal surviving.
“If a pet owner does experience anything like this they should contact the police. I think sometimes people think they are bothering the police and it’s a waste of time but it’s not. It’s not just pets that are at risk, children could be at risk as well.
“I would urge anyone who finds that poison has been put down that is accessible to animals and humans to report them as it’s an offence to do so where it’s easily available. For example, you can’t just put poison down in your garden in the open on the lawn.”
One resident from Harebeating Drive in Hailsham, who walks his dogs along the Cuckoo Trail off the lead, said, “I know a lot of dog owners who have said their dogs have had bad stomachs.
“If a dog gets poisoned the outcome is not good.
“It does happen sometimes, there’s some sick people about.”
The Cuckoo Trail stretches from Heathfield to Eastbourne Park and passes through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate.
Vets in the area have been contacted following the rumours but none have reported any incidents of dogs being poisoned and brought in. Police were also unable to confirm any such incident but urged anyone who was aware of an incident to contact police on 101.