Probe finds no link between death of dogs and former gasworks site

A PROBE into the deaths of family pets has revealed no link to a former gasworks.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 9:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:38 am
Granton Gas Works. A number of dogs died after visiting Forthquarter Parl. Picture; Ian Rutherford

The city council investigated after reports of six dogs dying after being walked in Granton’s Forthquarter Park.

But the findings of the report have shown “no credible evidence” to link the deaths to the park, a National Grid-owned former storage site.

One pet owner told the Evening News he felt the matter warranted further investigation, with questions still unanswered.

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Dog owner John Young who's Black Labrador died after walking inForthquarter Park in Granton is not satisfied with the probe. Picture Ian Rutherford

HGV driver John Young’s seven-year-old Labrador Holly died last month after developing a tumour.

“I’d walk Holly in the park two or three times a day – more at weekends,” said John, 52. “She got a runny nose and then her eye went red on one side.

“She went down on her back end and I had to pick her up and carry her.”

Holly had to be put down at the vets after a tumour was found in her nose.

Holly died at the age of 7.

“She was a healthy dog and only been to the vet once before. I lost my best pal.”

John called for further tests at the park after a neighbour’s alsatian and another’s mongrel cross also died from tumours.

“Three dogs died and apart from being neighbours, the only thing they had in common was walks in the park.

“They’ve tested the water but Holly never went in the pond, it’s the soil we want tested.”

Dog owner John Young who's Black Labrador died after walking inForthquarter Park in Granton is not satisfied with the probe. Picture Ian Rutherford

The Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (TRIM) and Friends of West Pilton group helped publicise pet owners’ concerns last month.

“This heartbreaking issue was raised on our busy Facebook page and we were inundated with responses from our residents,” said a spokeswoman.

“Only two of our residents were able to go public about the death of their pets but we know of at least eight other people who have also lost their dogs in suspicious circumstances after using the park.”

The group says it has also found dead crows, ducks and a fox in the park.

Holly died at the age of 7.

“Whoever is responsible for keeping the park clean and tidy is not doing their job properly as these animals and birds have been there for weeks,” added the spokeswoman.

“We are glad that the authorities have not found cause for concern but our residents are very concerned and whilst they continue to raise their concerns we will continue to pursue this matter with whoever can help us get it resolved.”

A council spokesperson said: “A thorough investigation by the City of Edinburgh Council’s environmental health team has not established a link between Forthquarter Park and the cause of the deaths. It has therefore been concluded, unless further information comes light.”

The Forthquarter Park investigation included contacting vets, among them the PDSA, who reported no rise in unexplained dog deaths.

Only two dog deaths formed part of the investigation after other owners failed to come forward.

Park management and clean-up of the former gasworks were also looked into. Inspectors have now scaled down the investigation until any new evidence comes to light.

A spokeswoman for National Grid said: “We’ve worked closely with the council and have provided them with results of testing we have done.

“We will continue to support the council’s ongoing investigation.”