FEARS have been raised about possible cannabis plants growing in the park at Bourne Hill.
Residents have voiced their concerns to this newspaper after a number of dogs became unwell with possible cannabis poisoning.
Caroline Christie regularly walks her dog around the park at Bourne Hill close to the police station but recently her dog Pickle, half-poodle, and half-beagle became unwell when they made it home.
She said: “Pickle became lethargic, disorientated and spaced out, and was unable to walk. I didn’t take her to the vet but was told by other dog walkers that at least three dogs had become ill after walking there. Their vet had told them the symptoms pointed to suspected cannabis ingestion.”
Caroline reported the incident to the police but the officer dealing with the report suggested it could be a plant within the Secret Gardens nearby and that they might send the sniffer dogs out but Caroline said that it had not occurred in the same place.
Even the smallest doses of cannabis can create lethargy, a loss of balance, breathing problems, excessive drooling, and dilated pupils or glassy eyes.
Dogs may also experience abnormal heart rhythms, and appear agitated or have urinary incontinence.
She said: “Yesterday, it happened to a neighbour’s dog in the same place and again, the vet said it was cannabis ingestion. Apparently, it doesn’t take much cannabis to make them sick.”
David Falke, who writes the Journal's weekly military column, witnessed similar symptoms in his own puppy.
He said: "I can confirm that this has been a regular problem over the last three months or so. My five-month-old puppy started lurching and then collapsed one Saturday evening.
"I rang the duty vet who said the charge was £317 for a consultation at the surgery, so I waited and Rufus slowly recovered. The vet rang us back to check how he was and said the symptoms were cannabis poisoning. I believe there have been between 8-10 instances of this recently, some worse than others causing great concern amongst dog owners."
David confirmed that his cocker spaniel Rufus was well again.
External and media communications team leader for Wiltshire Police, Ben Fitzgerald said: "A member of the public reported a suspicious incident on 6 June, saying she suspected her dog may have ingested cannabis whilst being walked in Bourne Hill Gardens, Salisbury.
"The owner reported that her dog started to act lethargic following the walk. Salisbury District Council’s facility manager, who has responsibility for the upkeep of the area has been made aware of the incident and words of advice have been given to the reporting person."