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Rat poison fears after dogs get ill following visits to Jeskyns Community Woodland in Gravesend

A popular country park has been inspected after dogs fell ill due to possible contact with rat poison.

Jeskyns Community Woodland in Gravesend says it has had two reports of pets becoming unwell after visiting the Forestry England site.

Jeskyns Community Woodland, Henhurst Road, Gravesend
Jeskyns Community Woodland, Henhurst Road, Gravesend

One woman posted a warning on social media, saying her boss' dog had been walked in the park in the afternoon and by the evening "was very unwell".

The post prompted Jeskyns to respond on its Facebook page to say it had not received any direct report or information about the incident and urged the owner to contact them.

Today, the park has confirmed it has now received two reports of dogs becoming ill after visiting on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.

A statement on Jeskyns' Facebook page said: "Vets suggested the symptoms could have been caused by contact with, or somehow eating, rat poison.

"Although rare, we took these reports seriously and our team immediately and carefully inspected the different routes used. Thankfully we found no evidence of rat poison or anything suspicious.

"We were pleased to hear both dogs have now recovered and whilst it has not been possible to confirm the exact cause of the illnesses, we care lot about the health and welfare of our visitors and dogs and so we will remain vigilant for any more issues.

The park is popular with dog walkers
The park is popular with dog walkers

"Please be reassured that things like this are very uncommon and half a million visitors a year enjoy Jeskyns with their dogs safely.

"Remember too, to keep your dog under close control and always be aware of where they are and what they are doing."

In response to the post, one dog owner said: "Our dog has suffered since last Wednesday from a stomach related issue. The vet surgeon did ask my wife if he had eaten rat poison to which we can not possibly respond accurately.

"Our pet has only since Monday returned to some form of normality but still fragile."

Another dog owner said her dog got ill after visiting the park on Saturday.

She said: "I saw my dog eat something but didn't get there in time to stop him swallowing it. He was in awful pain on Sunday, crying, vomiting, pooing out blood and ended up in the vets and on a lot of medication."

Jeskyns has asked anyone with concerns to contact then directly via email at jeskynsranger@forestryengland.uk

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