Husband and wife Mairi Summers and Jonathan Clough looked on with horror as their five-year-old Labrador Collie cross Reilly made a beeline for a discarded rod in Falkirk’s Callendar Park — where fishing is strictly prohibited.
Despite the pair managing to remove one of the hooks from his tongue, the other slipped down Reilly’s throat before getting caught in the lining of his stomach.
The Falkirk couple have had to pay a £1000 surgery bill, a fee that could yet rise as Reilly’s spleen has swollen since the operation. Though Reilly is now recovering from the horrendous ordeal at home, his owner has warned anglers of the potentially fatal consequences which come with ignoring ‘no fishing’ rules in public places.
Mairi (46) said: “My dog is making a slow recovery but required major life-saving surgery at great expense.
“We’re hoping he’ll recover because he’s a young, fit dog.
“The vet was shocked by the situation and only his swift intervention prevented an accident turning into a tragedy.
“The two young men responsible for leaving their tackle lying around were clearly unaware of the community trust’s fishing prohibition within the park, or chose to ignore it. Irresponsible fishing practice puts others at risk.”
Having reported the incident to Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) and police, Mairi is hopeful the incident won’t be repeated.
She added: “I would hate any other Callendar Park users or their dogs to be injured by anglers who shouldn’t even be there.”
Claire Mennim, FCT parks and sustainability team leader, said: “We have been in contact with the dog’s owner who did entirely the right thing reporting the incident to the police.
“We advise that fishing is not a suitable activity at Callendar Park due to the high levels of mixed public access. Fishermen are moved on by park staff if spotted, but we cannot patrol the lake at all times and therefore clear signage is placed at regular intervals around the lake.
“The wildlife officer from the police is requesting additional patrols of the site and we will be updating the signage around the lake to ensure it is eye-catching and frequently positioned. We hope that the injured dog recovers.”