Dunbar dog owner urges fishermen to be more considerate after pup injured by fishing line hook at Torness Point

A dog owner has urged anglers to dispose of their equipment properly, after her dog was injured by a hook from a discarded fishing line.

Emer Harkin, 54, asked local fishermen to be “more considerate”, after the incident which left her dog Floyd requiring emergency veterinary treatment.

Ms Harkin’s partner was walking Floyd and their other four dogs along the walkway at Torness Point near Dunbar on Monday evening, when he discovered that Floyd had a fishing line dangling from his face.

On closer inspection, he found a hook from a fishing line attached to the inside of Floyd’s cheek.

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While Ms Harkin and her partner managed to cut the fishing line at home, they decided to take the pup to the emergency animal hospital in Edinburgh to avoid injuring him further.

Floyd had to be sedated to allow the vets to remove the hook and fishing line, and while the removal went well, the procedure cost Ms Harkin £350.

She is angry that the anglers responsible didn’t dispose of the fishing line and hooks in the many bins located along the walkway.

The fishing line was discarded on the walkway at Torness Point.

Some barbed hooks are impossible for anyone but a qualified veterinarian to remove and can inflict life—changing wounds. In extreme cases pets have been fatally injured.

While Ms Harkin said her pup now seems “fine”, she stressed: “It was an incident that didn’t need to happen, and it could have been far worse”.

“I’m just so glad he didn’t swallow it”.

She said that this is not the first time she or her partner have seen fishing lines left along the same walkway.

Floyd had to be taken to the emergency vets, after getting a fishing hook stuck in his cheek.

Discarded fishing items like hooks, lines, weights and bait can cause serious injuries to not only pets, but also local wildlife and children.

The Scottish SPCA has issued a number of warnings.

The charity’s Superintendent, Mike Flynn, said: “The vast majority of anglers are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment after they’ve used it.

“What we’re dealing with is a minority of people who don’t respect the environment they are fishing in and the wildlife that inhabits it.

“One of our ambulance drivers rescued a pair of swans from Caulshields Loch in Galashiels. The female, who had young cygnets, had fishing line and lures down her throat and the male had a hook through his foot dragging line and debris with it.

“Another inspector rescued a cygnet from the Kirk Loch at Lochmaben that was caught up in fishing line with one tri-hook through its beak and another which had managed to catch the flesh on its wing and side.

“Luckily we managed to get these animals to a vet in time and they all survived, but in many cases others will endure a slow and painful death, often starving because they are unable to feed properly.

“We are urging anyone who enjoys the privilege of fishing in Scotland’s inland and coastal waters to make sure that they tidy away every last piece of fishing tackle. It could save an animal’s life.”

Anyone interested in rehoming an animal or wishing to donate to or join the Scottish SPCA can visit scottishspca.org or telephone 03000 999 999.

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