A COUNCILLOR says action is being taken to warn dog walkers of poisonous plants in a Hampshire meadow after a woman was forced to put her pet down.

Councillor Geoffrey Blunden, chairman of community and leisure overview and scrutiny panel, has spoken out about hemlock in Barton’s Long Meadow, in New Milton.

Hemlock is the most poisonous plant in the UK and is considered deadly.

It comes after resident Janice Dennison had to put her 11-year-old dog Kelsie to sleep after she was allegedly poisoned by the dangerous plant.

Kelsie was reportedly poisoned by hemlock, suffering severe kidney damage, before Ms Dennison was forced to put her pet down.

Geoffrey, of New Forest District Council, said: “I gave Janice a call before Christmas.

“I am very sorry to hear of the death of her dog and I understand too well the heartache and distress that can be caused when a family pet


“Janice asked if any fines could be put up. The town council looked into this and consulted with the Environment Agency.

“But the trouble is that over 100 poisonous plants naturally occur - there are hundreds of them.

“Unfortunately, a dog may go for them.

“We will be putting up a notice board pointing out the plants to owners to keep an eye on their dogs, as well as warning about the foot rot in the forest.

“We are also carrying out regular inspections at the site.”

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We are always very concerned to hear about poisoning in pets, and would urge anyone with any information relating to poisoning to contact us on 0300 1234 999.

“Many different substances can poison pets so it is beneficial for pet owners to be aware of the signs of poisoning so they can ensure they take their animals to a vet immediately. It is beneficial to confirm which poisoning is responsible to increase the chance of locating the source so other pets and animals in the local area can be protected.

“It is always difficult to determine if cases are accidental incidents or deliberate, however poisoning an animal deliberately is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

“The signs of poisoning can include one, or several of the following: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures and difficulty


“If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned you must take it to a vet immediately."