Animal-lover's shock after dog and puppy become ill with suspected cannabis poisoning after walk in Washington's Princess Anne Park

A dog owner has been left stunned after two of her beloved pets were diagnosed with suspected cannabis poisoning after a walk in a Wearside park.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 11:18 am
Jean Henry with dogs Jessie and Mollie (right)
Jean Henry with dogs Jessie and Mollie (right)

Jean Henry, owner of cocker spaniels Molly and Jessie, was shocked when she saw six-month-old puppy Jessie shaking, vomiting and struggling to stand up after a walk in Princess Anne Park in Washington.

The animal-lover was further horrified just two weeks later when her older pet, 10-year-old Molly, began displaying the same symptoms.

After taking the dogs to two separate vets, both were diagnosed as displaying symptoms of cannabis poisoning, further adding to the shock of Jean’s ordeal.

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Vets put the dogs on a two-hour drip to stop any lasting damage being done, and thankfully both Molly and Jessie fully recovered.

Jean blamed the incident on people discarding the drug in the park.

She said: “It was very, scary. The park is only a small area and I’ve been walking my dogs there for years.

“I won’t be going back, but I’m just glad they’re okay.”

Jean was keen to warn other dog owners to be vigilant when taking their pets out on walks.

She added: “I’m going to be very cautious where I walk them from now on. I know we’re not the only ones who have had problems like this.”

Jean reported her concerns to Labour ward councillor Linda Williams, who represents the Washington Central area.

Councillor Williams reported the suspected poisonings to the police and Sunderland City Council’s environmental team.

Coun Williams said: “I’m disgusted that someone is potentially trying to poison poor, defenceless animals. Nothing to date has been found.”

She said there have since been searchers of the park to reassure residents the area is safe.

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “The council is aware of these matters.”

Animal PoisonLine, run by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), states cannabis appears to have similar effects in dogs as it does in humans, but the size difference and a dog’s lack of discrimination with regards to dose means they can become poisoned from eating any quantity.

It lists the most common effects in dogs are depression, drowsiness or lethargy, stating they “may also be very wobbly on their feet or unwilling to stand and have a slow heart rate”.

Other effects may include weakness, eye problems, vomiting, drooling, inability to control bladder and bowels, body temperature going up or down, and twitching or tremors which can lead on to fits.