DOG walkers are being urged to take care around Warwick Racecourse after a dog ate rat poison and nearly died.
Beagle Harvey enjoyed his regular Saturday night walk around the course with owners Jo Ciriani and Graeme Todd, but later that night the Warwick couple noticed Harvey was under the weather as he was refusing to eat and sleeping a lot.
But the next morning they were met by blood all over the kitchen floor and a very sick Harvey
They rushed their much-loved pup to Avonvale vets where he received urgent treatment including a blood transfusion. He remains seriously ill.
While Harvey was receiving treatment, the pair went to investigate at racecourse, where they found an open rat trap next to a horse jump. The trap – which course owners believe had been tampered with before Harvey discovered it – was later removed.
Jo said: “We are praying Harvey will pull through treatment. We want to warn as many people as we can about the traps at Warwick Racecourse. It’s a popular dog walking route and we would hate another animal to go through what Harvey has gone through. While dogs are not allowed on the course itself, the trap we found was open and at the side of the track – right next to where we walk.”
Jo and Graeme are now warning fellow dog walkers to be vigilant and ensure they look out for symptoms of poisoning, which includes depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties and seizures.
Racecourse bosses say the trap was the only one kept on the racetrack and was situated on the fence near the Sainsbury’s corner – to deal with problems of rats chewing through ropes which secure parts of the fence.
They are now encouraging walkers to stick to the parkland and try to stay off the footpath.
A spokeswoman said: “On a personal level we are very sad to hear the news regarding the poor health of a dog due to the possible consumption of poison at our race track.
“As dog lovers and owners and regular users of St Mary’s Land, we are naturally concerned and hope the dog makes a speedy and full recovery.
“We have been informed the amount of poison used is not enough to kill a dog, but would be enough to make it ill.
“We would like to remind all St Mary’s Land visitors that the racetrack itself is not to be accessed other than on the public footpaths that traverse it. It is an area under constant management for the purposes of racing and therefore is not necessarily a particularly safe environment.
“We appreciate that it is hard to control dogs who run on to the track but it would be appreciated if everyone could make an effort to keep their dogs exclusively on the parkland and the track that runs the inner circumference of the course.”