The RSPCA and police are appealing to dog walkers in Cross Hills, Keighley, to take care after several dogs fell ill and died after being walked along the same footpath.
The footpath, off Station Road, is a popular area for dog owners to walk their pets. North Yorkshire police and the RSPCA received calls after seven dogs died between Friday 20 and Wednesday 25 May. Another dog died yesterday (26 May).
One veterinary practice in the area admitted five dogs which were suffering from seizures and died shortly afterwards. Another vet surgery admitted another three dogs which were suffering from similar symptoms and also died.
The RSPCA and police are working with Craven District Council to try to determine the cause of the dogs’ deaths. Tests are also being carried out.
RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Sally Ramsden said: “We are extremely concerned about this situation. People are taking their dogs out along this footpath and within less than 20 minutes, the dogs are suffering convulsions and dying.
“We don’t know what could be causing this but we strongly suspect that the dogs may have been poisoned. We also cannot rule out the possibility that this is being done deliberately.
“These dogs have suffered horrendously and we desperately need to hear from anyone who has information about these incidents. In the meantime, we really need people to stop walking their dogs on this footpath.”
Those with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or North Yorkshire police on 0845 60 60 24 7 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The path has been cordoned off and signs advising dog owners have been put up.