A WIRRAL woman has hit out after a fishing hook discarded on New Brighton beach left her beloved dog needing an expensive and dangerous operation when it became lodged near her heart.

Evelyn Moir had been walking Jack Russell “Nell” along the beach at the popular seaside resort last Thursday morning when something took the dog’s fancy.

“Nell had been chasing her ball as usual and suddenly darted off to investigate what was obviously a very enticing smell,” explained 67-year-old mother-of-two Evelyn.

“I noticed she was trying to chew and swallow something so went over to see what she had in her mouth. To my horror I saw a fish hook through the side of her mouth.

“She was very distressed and I was desperately trying to get the hook out before it did any more damage.”

Evelyn managed to get the hook but the nylon line broke away.

Wirral Globe: Evelyn Moir with dog Nell. 

“She swallowed that. She was very shocked and looked dreadful – I knew she wouldn’t manage the walk back to our home so I phoned my neighbour who very kindly came to collect us.”

Nell was taken straight to Birch Veterinary Centre in Oxton where she was kept in for an x-ray which showed she had in fact swallowed bait attached to another hook – the hook was lying near to her heart.

It was an anxious wait for Evelyn and husband and Brian as veterinary surgeon Phil Shepherd operated to remove the hook.

“We have two children and five grandchildren who adore Nell and are very upset about the trauma she has been through and the trauma for their granny and grandpa”, said Evelyn.

“My Shepherd had to go in through Nell’s abdomen due to the position of the hook. It was a very tricky operation and we are so grateful for his skill and for the car of the staff there – she is very lucky to have survived.”

Nell is now on her way to making a full recovery but is still very tender.

“She is on a diet of soft food for a few days to enable her oesophagus to heal but is feeling well enough to go for a walk – although no running after her ball for a while.”

While Nell will be ok, Evelyn hopes her trauma will help people realise the impact of littering.

She said: “On several occasions I have found discarded fishing tackle lying on the sand and have disposed of it in the bin. Please be vigilant other dog walkers and parents of young children as these hooks are lethal.

“Dog owners often get a bad press for not clearing up after their dogs and the New Brighteners do a fantastic job clearing up litter from our beautiful shoreline but the behaviour of some fishermen leaves a lot to be desired.

“It is especially noticeable after competitions when discarded fish heads are left littering the beach. If Wirral Council would erect warning signs that would be a big step forward.”

Evelyn added: “My message to those who leave any kind of litter on the beach is please consider others, especially children and dogs who love spending time on the wonderful stretches of sand on our coastline.

“Also to remember the danger to wildlife from the discarded litter. It doesn’t take a moment to clear up after yourselves and ensure that our children and pets are kept safe.”