A grandmother has hit out at fly-tippers after her beloved dog had to undergo surgery when he cut his paw at a Wearside nature reserve which has become a dumping ground for rubbish and waste.
Valerie Chalk’s border collie Henry was injured while her husband Garry, 50, walked the pooch at Fulwell Nature Reserve earlier this week.
It is believed he cut his paw on some glass.
Henry is now recovering at home after undergoing an operation costing more than £350 at a vets.
Mrs Chalk, 54, says the problem of fly-tipped waste at the nature reserve has become more of a problem in recent years and seems to be getting worse.
Mrs Chalk, a mum-of-four and grandmother-of four from Southwick in Sunderland, said: “My husband took Henry out for a walk and then about 20 minutes later I got a phone call from him saying could I go and pick them up because he’d been hurt.
“I thought it would just be a little cut but he was actually bleeding all over.
“My husband took off one of his socks to stem the bleeding.
“His paw has actually been split.
“His operation cost us £360 and he’ll have to go back for check ups too.”
Mrs Chalk is urging people not to dump waste at beauty spots.
“It’s absolutely horrendous,” she said.
“Rubbish is dumped regularly, teenage gangs drink and abuse the area along with motorbikes, quads and even Land Rovers ruining the paths.
“I’ve been here for eight years after I was brought up in Town End Farm and I’d say the last three or four years it has got so much worse.
“There are piles and piles of glass, bottles and other rubbish and it’s just shocking.
“I really think the place is becoming a no-go area for people walking their dogs.
“My husband and I will often go to South Shields or Cleadon Hills instead, but we shouldn’t have to when we have this close by on our doorstep.”
Mrs Chalk’s call comes as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which is calling on Wearsiders to keep Sunderland rubbish free and tidy.
If you see items of rubbish in a street or green space which you think may have been fly-tipped, inform the city council on 0191 520 5550.