Bites to two dogs lead to Sanders Park snake warning

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 16 July 2014 Updated: 17/07 23:29

DOG owners are being warned to keep their four-legged friends on leads by the wildlife-friendly meadow area of Sanders Park after one pet sustained what looked like a snake bite.

That incident, along with another, prompted Bromsgrove District Council to put up signs in the area suggesting dogs should not be allowed to roam free there.

It added: "A dog is believed to have been bitten by a snake, possibly a venemous adder, which was disturbed in the Meadow area towards Worcester Road.

"After treatment by a vet, the dog is understood to have made a full recovery but such bites can be extremely painful and may be life-threatening."

Maria O'Ryan, who walks her springer spaniel Rosie in the area, got in touch with The Standard.

She said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw the sign, you just don't expect it in Bromsgrove.

"It may not be a snake bite, but it's just not worth the risk.

"I have spoken to my friends who have dogs and I thought it would be good to contact the paper to let others know as well.

"It's very worrying."

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: "All we understand at the moment is that two dogs have been bitten by something and a vet in one case thinks it might have been a snake bite.

"We’re investigating but so far other causes such as a reaction to a horsefly bite or wasp sting are looking more likely."

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said it was highly unlikely there would be adders in Sanders Park as they would find it difficult to survive in that kind of habitat.

"A toxicology test needed to be carried out by the vet to verify what it was.

"If a dog was bitten by a snake there, it would be more likely to be a grass snake, but they are not venomous."

And she added snakes would only bite as a last resort and would be more inclined to take evasive action, such as playing dead or going in the opposite direction.

She said in areas, such as the Wyre Forest and on Cannock Chase, there were adders present, but none had ever been reported in Bromsgrove, although that was not to say there were definitely none.

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