Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 17:02 UK

Warning over cliff-top dog walks

Harvey the spaniel. Picture: RSPCA
Harvey's vets bills have totalled 1,400

The RSPCA and the Coastguard are urging dog owners to be aware of the dangers of cliff-top walks in the South West.

The warning comes after one dog died and another was seriously injured earlier this year after falling from cliffs in Cornwall.

The RSPCA spokeswoman Felicity Cross said dogs should be on leads on cliff-tops, many of which are unfenced.

"It only takes a split second for even the most obedient pet to dart after a rabbit or try to catch a seagull."

Earlier this year she had to help the owners of Harvey, a spaniel which fell 12m (40ft) from a cliff in Padstow, seriously injuring his leg.

'Very distressing'

His owner Geoff Gale, who was on holiday from Exeter, Devon, at the time said: "When Harvey fell I thought that was it, but when I got down to him he was sitting holding out his broken paw, so I wrapped him in my jumper and called the coastguard, who rang the RSPCA."

Mr Gale said: "The whole incident has been very distressing and I will definitely be keeping Harvey on a lead in future. He's such an obedient dog, it just goes to show how easily this can happen".

Harvey's vets bills have totalled 1,400.

In April this year a Staffordshire bull terrier cross owned by holidaymakers from Milton Keynes died after falling nearly 50m (150ft) from cliffs at Perranporth.

Coastguard spokesman Fred Caygill pointed out that owners too could put themselves in danger when attempting to rescue their pets.

"If dog owners can be a little more thoughtful and not unleash their dog until they reach the safety of inland pathways, then a lot of pain and anguish could be avoided," he said.


SEE ALSO
Chopper assists dog cliff rescue
09 Apr 08 |  England
Surfboard rescue of dog on cliffs
21 Jun 06 |  Cornwall

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