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Dog owners are warned over ‘white substance’ which killed two pets in park and left more needing treatment


  • The dogs were killed in the Belle Vale area of Liverpool on Monday
  • Police were phoned by a nearby vets where the dogs were brought for treatment
  • Has your dog been affected? Email [email protected] 



Dog owners have been warned after an unknown ‘white substance’ killed two pets in a park and left more needing treatment.

As well as killing the pair of dogs, the poisonous substance also left a third seriously ill and a fourth in need of veterinary treatment after they ate the mystery material in a park. 

The incident happened at a green space near Childwall Valley Road, in the Belle Vale area of Liverpool yesterday afternoon.

Shop staff at a Lidl opposite the scene were today asked by officers to check CCTV footage.

The area has been cordoned off and people living near have been advised to keep doors and windows shut while police ‘seek to establish what the substance is and how it got there’.

Police at the scene on a green space near to Childwall Valley Road, in the Belle Vale area of Liverpool in the afternoon on Monday, January 22
Police were first contacted by a local veterinary surgery, where the poorly and dying dogs were brought for treatment
Police wore masks as remained in the area into Tuesday while they carried out testing on the mysterious substance

Officers have not yet revealed the nature of the substance and whether it was in powder or liquid form – despite local rumours it may have been a type of painkiller.

Police were contacted by a local veterinary surgery, where the poorly and dying dogs were brought for treatment.

White Cross Vets in Gateacre posted on social media yesterday to warn pet owners to be ‘extra careful’ around Hartsbourne Avenue and the area near the children’s park leading onto Childwall Valley Road after two dogs became unwell. 

The vets reported they had two cases of possible poisoning.

A spokesperson from White Cross Vets said: ‘Due to client confidentiality we cannot comment publicly on individual cases. 

‘However, losing a pet unexpectedly is always extremely difficult and our thoughts are with the families of the affected dogs. We will continue to work alongside police and support them with their enquiries.

‘It’s common for dogs to ingest things that they shouldn’t when out on a walk, often without the owner’s knowledge, so it’s really important to recognise when something might be wrong and seek urgent vet care straight away. 

‘Symptoms of poisoning can include vomiting, lethargy, difficulty breathing, appearing uncoordinated and seizures. If your dog displays these signs you should contact your vet as soon as possible for support.’

Merseyside Police said specialist contractors will be attending the scene on Tuesday ‘to remove the substance in a safe and controlled manner’
Police have advised pedestrians and dog walkers to avoid the area while the incident is dealt with
The fire brigade were also in attendance at the scene

On Monday night officers were conducting house-to-house enquiries to find out how the substance was left there.

The investigation continued on Tuesday morning as police worked to ensure all potential deposits of the substance are found and safely removed for testing. 

One man who lives opposite the scene said: ‘We saw the police arrive and went out but when we came back the cordon was huge.

‘A lot of people have described seeing two white blots of like white powder in one area and that got triple cordoned. It’s scary, our dogs are like our babies.’

Another dog owner living near the scene told the Liverpool Echo: ‘Why would anyone do something like that? What can you do? We have got a dachshund and I won’t let it out now.’

The emergency services have said the airborne risk from the substance is low but officers who are at the scene are taking necessary safety precautions

Chief Superintendent Jonathan Davies, of Merseyside Police, said: ‘Whilst the incident is obviously of concern, I want the public to be reassured that the matter is being dealt with and is under control. We would advise people to avoid the area as we seek to establish what the substance is and how it got there.’

In a further statement this lunchtime, the officer added: ‘The airborne risk from the substance is low but police officers who are at the scene are taking any necessary safety precautions.

‘We would continue to advise people to avoid the area as the removal gets underway.

‘Anyone who believes they were in the area yesterday and came into direct contact with the substance is advised to seek medical assistance if they believe they have suffered any ill effects.

‘We would always advise anyone who comes across an unknown substance to not touch but to report it to police.’

Merseyside Police added there have been no reports of any people, or further animals, being affected overnight.

The force said specialist contractors will be attending the scene today ‘to remove the substance in a safe and controlled manner and pedestrians and dog walkers are advised to avoid the area while the incident continues to be dealt with’.

Officers have not said if it was in powder or liquid form.



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