Bawdsey: Dog owner’s beach plea after fish hook ordeal
08:15 11 June 2014
A dog owner who had to pay £600 for a vet to remove a fishing hook from his pet’s stomach has urged sea anglers to be mindful of leaving rubbish on the beach.
Harry Dovey was walking his dog, Lily, along Bawdsey beach, near Woodbridge, when she swallowed the discarded fishing hook.
Mr Dovey, 19, lives nearby and walks the two-year-old sprocker spaniel along the stretch of beach on most evenings. He said: “There’s always litter along there so I’m always fairly cautious, but this time Lily got hold of a fishing hook and swallowed it. “Thankfully, it didn’t get stuck in her throat or get into her intestines. It went straight down into her stomach and the vet was able to remove it. She’s better now but it could have been worse.
“I can’t blame all fisherman for leaving rubbish lying around but usually, after a good fishing night, there is a lot of newspaper used to wrap up bait, fishing lines and the remnants of fires left on the beach.
“I would really hate this to happen to anyone else, so would ask dog walkers to be careful and fishermen to take their rubbish home with them.”
Mr Dovey paid £600 for the hook to be removed from Lily’s stomach but said the treatment she received at Ryder-Davies and Partners vets in Woodbridge had been “brilliant”.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said most anglers cleaned up after themselves but urged everyone to follow their example. He said: “We take a lot of pride in keeping our award-winning beaches as clean as possible.
“As part of that, we ask people to take responsibility and always clean up after themselves by using bins provided or taking rubbish home with them. The majority of anglers are very responsible in how they use the beach.”
David Mitchell, marine campaigns manager for the Angling Trust, said: “Like everything, this is about common sense. People should be responsible for disposing of their litter. There are always going to be some who don’t behave responsibly.
“If there are adequate disposal sites or bins it should not be a problem. We encourage anglers to dispose of their litter through our Just Take Five campaign which asks them to take five minutes to pick up their own or other people’s litter, or to dispose of five items they find on the beach.
“It doesn’t sound much, but if the country’s one million anglers did it once a year, it would be five million pieces of litter.
“In my experience, some dog owners could also do more to control their dogs.
I’m not suggesting that is the case here, but let’s not forget the beach is a public place and dogs will naturally sniff around for things.”