Sunderland family’s upset after fly-tipped waste leads to dog being impaled on metal post

Stephen Turner with his lurcher Red who was injured on a post at Castletown Dene.
Stephen Turner with his lurcher Red who was injured on a post at Castletown Dene.

These are the injuries suffered by a family dog after he became impaled on a post on Sunderland parkland.

Lurcher Red was out for a walk with owner Stephen Turner when the metal pole - which had been dumped in the undergrowth on land off Castletown Road - went through his chest, narrowly missing an artery.

What’s happened has made us mad, really mad, because it should never have happened.

Claire Turner

He was taken to an emergency vet and underwent surgery to repair damage to his muscles and close the large hole, with his owner using a woollen hat to stem the flow of blood after the pet pulled himself off the post.

Red underwent surgery to help repair damage to muscles and close the hole, with a drain put into another spot in his chest, all at a cost of £1,744, before he was moved closer to home at a Southwick practice.

Now Red’s owners - Stephen, 52, a self-employed builder, wife Claire, 48, and their sons Charles, 20, James, 16, and Joseph, 13 - are calling for action to keep the land clear.

Claire, whose family are also owners of Max, a three-year-old cocker spaniel, said: “What’s happened has made us mad, really mad, because it should never have happened.

“We walk our dogs through the dene and it just frustrates us that it looks like a pigsty.

“People seem to be dumping rubbish there and the pond is full of bottles because that’s where the kids drink at the weekend, it’s just terrible.”

She said she had been in contact with Sunderland City Council to highlight the issue on a number of occasions.

The Echo runs its Clean Streets campaign in a bid to make Sunderland a greener and cleaner place.

Claire added: “We were just shocked it happened. My son Charles sent me a text explaining what had happened and when I saw my husband’s face, he was as white as a sheet.

“We love our dogs.”

Coun Amy Wilson, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “As a dog owner, it’s upsetting to hear what’s happened here in Castletown.

“Staff have now removed this damaged post and a tidy-up is underway.

“Sadly, this shows how an irresponsible minority who damage property and leave litter or smashed glass behind them can and do cause injury.

“I would remind this minority to think about the consequences of their actions and I would like to think they wouldn’t want it happening to pets they know.

“If you do see litter and fly-tipping, please report it so it can be cleaned up and investigated.”

People can report flytipping at Sunderland.gov.uk or via (0191) 520 5550.