Dog owner's devastation after beloved pet dies from suspected poisoning at beauty spot

Heartbroken dog owner issues warning to others after dog poisoned while out walking
James Bevan and Winston -Credit:James Bevan

A dog owner has spoken of his devastation after his dog tragically died from suspected poisoning at a beauty spot on the border of North and West Yorkshire.

James Bevan, 38, is in mourning following the sudden death of his Cockapoo, Winston, who is believed to have ingested a toxic substance during a walk at Lindley Moor Reservoir, Otley - an hour and 15 minute drive from Teesside.

Recounting the fateful day, James said: "It was a normal Sunday afternoon walk, myself and my partner Becky took Winston to Lindley Moor Reservoir for a walk, everything was fine. As we were heading back to the car I noticed that Winston was out of sight which was really unusual for him, he was always right behind us - but this time he wasn't."

He continued, describing the moment he realised something was amiss: "He was quite far behind us and slightly round the corner just off to the side of the footpath, I walked back for him and he seemed to be looking guilty, as though he'd eaten something, I couldn't see anything obvious so I didn't think too much of it, it's never been something I've had to worry about before, we got back in the car and headed home."

The situation deteriorated the following day, as James explained: "The next day he was whining to go out earlier than usual, I let him out and he went and did his business and that was that, he came back in and drank quite a lot of water, which I did think was a bit unusual."

"That day he went out as usual with his regular dog walker, she called to say he had been sick twice - we thought maybe he just had a stomach bug or eaten something dodgy," reports Yorkshire Live. "When we arrived home he seemed to be drinking excessively and so we phoned the vets."

James continued: "When we arrived at the vets they did a blood test and we were told he was showing some unusual levels in his kidneys. They sent him to Holly House 24 hour vets in Roundhay to be monitored. We arrived there and they put him on a drip and we left him there overnight, the following morning he had deteriorated even more, the vets said another day on fluids would hopefully sort out his kidney issues. We never imagined this would be the outcome."

James continued: "On Wednesday morning, the vets said he was really really ill and there was nothing more they could do, at that point we could either say goodbye to him there and then or see if anywhere else had any more treatment options for him.

"A couple of friends said that it might be an idea to take him to Royal Veterinary College QMA in London as it sounded like he could be an ideal candidate for dialysis. Desperate to save him we drove him down to London on Wednesday afternoon, they said it looked like the cause was something toxic causing the kidney to shut down. He deteriorated so quickly from Tuesday to Wednesday, he had dialysis on the Wednesday night and by Thursday afternoon it had brought his levels back down to a level where he was able to walk about again, we were hopeful, it seemed like things were getting better. We started to be able to take him outside for a wee in between treatment and he seemed a little more like himself again.

"But sadly on Monday night he started having seizures and at that point we started to think this is unfair to put him through anymore. The vet said we could do another cycle of dialysis but he was so poorly we didn't think it was fair on him to put him through anymore."

James said: "So we said our goodbyes to him yesterday - it was heartbreaking. I'm absolutely devastated. I don't really know what life looks like without him yet, he was my whole world. Winston was the best dog you could hope for, I competed with him all around the country, he was loved by everybody, friendly, loved life, loved walking. We used to take him everywhere, he was like my shadow, every weekend I was off camping with him, he travelled round the country with myself and my partner Becky. He was our boy, we absolutely adored him. We will miss him so much."

Determined to find out what had happened to Winston, James began looking for other dog owners who might have also been affected and came across Manni, whose dog, also tragically passed away following a walk at Lindley Moor Reservoir just weeks earlier.

Bear's plight

Dog Walker, Manni Peacock, 49, Bingley West Yorkshire, had a scarily similar experience to James, her puppy, Bear, also died just days after a walk in the same area of Lindley Woods.

She said after the walk Bear seemed to drink quite a bit of water and then seemed unsettled, as well as urinating "all over the place" which was unusual, was sick, and then later collapsed. Manni took him to vets but her pet's condition deteriorated to the point where nothing more could be done for him.

She said: "They said he had eaten something very, very toxic. I just sat there holding him, I didn't want to leave him, I was just in shock, it was like a nightmare. Since then I have been sharing it far and wide trying to spread awareness so nobody else has to go through this. Our house feels empty, I can't bear to put his things away. He meant so much to our whole family, he brought every single one of us something different. I don't want this happening to any other family. We are devastated."

After this devastating experience, Manni reached out to James about Winston and reported the incident to the police, Yorkshire Water and tried to alert fellow local dog owners as well.

James remarked: "I don't know whether it was malicious or not, the circumstances were very similar, her dog died a lot quicker, the outcome for them both was the same. Other dog walkers have reported similar stories of their dogs becoming unwell, we don't know conclusively what that is but there is definitely a risk."

He also advised: "I'd advise others to avoid walking with your dogs along Lindley Wood Reservoir. If you are going to walk there, keep your dog on a lead, be vigilant and if you do suspect that your dog has eaten something or come into contact with something that they shouldn't have take them to the vets immediately. Ultimately it's not going to bring him back but I'm just hoping we can stop it happening to somebody else."

West Yorkshire Police has been contacted for any further information.

Manni and Bear
-Credit:No credit