Belfast Telegraph

Dog lover ‘disgusted’ after pet hurt by play park litter

by Fiona Rutherford

Dog lover Meryl Downey is calling for action after one of her pets suffered two serious injuries in a local play park used by children.

Meryl, who lives off the Montgomery Road, says 18-month-old German Shepherd Mason suffered his first injury a couple of months ago at the park at Roddens Crescent.

“I was throwing the ball and the dog cut his leg on something when he got it. The debris is disgusting there,” she said.

“He ended up with this gash on his leg that has already cost me over £100 to get fixed up but it's still ongoing.”

Meryl said she didn't go back to the park after the incident until June 10.

“I was back in the park but didn't throw the ball off the beaten track this time but I ended up having to rush the same dog up to the vets,” she said.

“He had gashed the paw of the same leg. The blood was piddling out of his paw. Thankfully I had my car with me but the car is covered in blood now.” There were no children in the park at the time, just four youths over at the children's play area, but it is well used. Meryl said she had played there herself as a child.

“For my dog getting cut twice in the same park — I'm just disgusted about it.”

She said she has dog licences for both her pets, picks up after them and is a responsible dog owner and expects to be able to walk the dogs in a public park without them being injured. “The park doesn't look that bad but it seems to be a bit of a dumping ground with trolleys and stuff. You would think because it's a public park they would look after it.”

Meryl said there was a real shortage of bins in the area and that more bins would encourage people to clear up after themselves.

A spokesperson for Castlereagh Borough Council said the council aimed to provide a safe environment within park areas under its control through regular inspections, cleansing and maintenance programmes.

“The playground at Roddens Crescent is inspected and cleaned three times per week and the grassed areas surrounding the playground are also inspected and cut every ten days during the cutting season,” the spokesperson said.

“While the council takes every reasonable step to maintain the area, members of the public are also advised to contact the council offices directly if they find the playground in an unacceptable condition.”

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