Dog walkers in Fleetwood are being urged to be vigilant after dog toys imbedded with sharp fish hooks were left on the beach in an horrific bid to maim pets.
The alarm has been raised by members of Fleetwood’s Coastwatch team who say there have been six cases in the last two weeks.
Stuart McGregor, spokesman for the town’s Coastwatch station, says dog walkers must be aware to the danger after a number of near misses.
The police have now been informed of the situation.
The Coastwatch team are based at the Rossall Point Tower on the seafront and its members scan the coast to ensure no one gets into difficulty off the coast.
Mr McGregor said half a dozen dog owners walking near the Rossall Point area of Fleetwood had so far raised the alarm to them in the past fortnight, including one pet owner who was close to tears after his dog went to pick up the toy.
Mr McGregor said; “Some very sick person out there is posing a very serious danger to dogs and even their owners. The dog toys are mostly in the form of short pieces of rope with a knot tied on either end, which you can get a pet shops. Someone appears to be actually sewing a fish hook into these toys in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to cause harm.
“We’ve had six calls in just two weeks so something is going on, it seems like a deliberate campaign. One of the dog owners was really angry and upset because he nearly had a horrible disaster on his hands.”
Sgt Nat Cox, of Fleetwood Police, said: “We take this sort of thing seriously because it could potentially cause a great deal of harm.
“If someone is deliberately attaching these hooks it is a criminal offence.
“We urge people to be vigilant and also to contact us straightaway if they find one of these things.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA commented; “We are deeply concerned about any reports that suggest animals are the target of baited items such as toys or food as has been highlighted here.
“Animals, and especially dogs, are often extremely curious and will be drawn to food and toys. Ingesting sharp items such as fishing hooks could cause immense damage and have devastating consequences.
“If anyone has any evidence in relation to these incidents we would urge them to contact the police or the RSPCA’s national cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.”