Dog walker warns of ‘potential killer’ after pet tried to swallow fish hook at Suffolk beach

Gill Mason wants to warn dog owners about fish hooks after her dog Amber picked one up on Felixstowe

Gill Mason wants to warn dog owners about fish hooks after her dog Amber picked one up on Felixstowe beach. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Dog owners have been urged to be vigilant of “potential killers” when visiting the Suffolk coast –after a family pet nearly swallowed a discarded fish hook.

Gill Mason was taking her 14-year-old foster dog Amber on a walk near Felixstowe promenade when she noticed it had picked up the hook “complete with some horrible smelly fish”.

“It was early afternoon and the area was heaving with families and people walking dogs,” she said.

“Luckily I noticed straight away and my dog was happy to let me take the hook from her mouth before any damage was done, but I wanted to warn people to be vigilant about what their children and pets are doing as these hooks are potential killers.”

The fish hook was found on the edge of the promenade at Sea Road, between Manning’s Amusement Park and the Regal Fish Bar on Sunday.

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Mrs Mason, who fosters Amber through the Cinnamon Trust charity, said she had posted her warning on Facebook and was inundated with replies from people who had found similar items on the beach.

One dog owner is reported to have spent £700 on having a fish hook removed from her dog’s stomach.

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Mrs Mason, who works as an information advisor at Felixstowe Library, said she often came across hazards on the coast.

“I take part in several beach cleans a year and on every occasion we remove many items of fishing detritus from the beach,” she added.

While dogs are banned from parts of the beach in peak season - with consultation currently underway to create a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – Mrs Mason said she was not aware of regulations governing how anglers use the coastline.

“We rely on them to be responsible and consider the hundreds of other people who use the beach, as well as themselves,” she said.

“There are lots of bins provided along the promo, so please use them and help keep the beach safe.”

Mrs Mason said she had not yet responded to the PSPO consultation but favoured a “shared space” approach.

“I feel that keeping dogs on a short fixed lead on the beach, as we are required to do on the prom and on Landguard beach, would be a much more positive move,” she added.

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