A dog has died after swallowing a longline fishing hook at Waimairi beach.
It has prompted the dog’s owners to warn other beach-goers to be wary of longline fishing devices being used in busy areas.
Belfast couple Hilary and Andy Ashby said they are “devastated” after their 11-year-old poodle, Sooty, had to be euthanised when a 3cm hook became lodged in his throat at Waimairi beach.
Mrs Ashby was on a morning walk with her sister-in-law and their dogs at 10.30am on December 8 when the incident unfolded.
She said she was walking towards the North Beach Surf Lifesaving Club when she saw a family rolling out a longline fishing device on the shore.
Sooty smelled the bait and bit into the fish attached to one of the hooks.
Mrs Ashby said her dog “panicked” and was pulling at the line. She asked the woman controlling the line for scissors who called out to her husband to get a pair.
“He took quite a while to come. He cut the line . . . at this stage Sooty was frothing at the mouth,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Ashby was juggling trying to get her other dog, Axel, onto a lead to ensure he didn’t suffer the same fate.
Sooty was then taken to Pet Doctors Marshall and Pringle in Phillipstown where he spent 10 hours on the operating table before he was taken to the After Hours Vet.
Mrs Ashby said the hook punctured Sooty’s esophagus and the vet had to cut into his throat to get the hook out.
It is suspected Sooty suffered a stroke from the stress.
The next morning, Mrs Ashby was told the treatment was not going well and made the decision to have Sooty put down.
The operation cost about $3800. “You don’t mind paying for your loved animal when you get them back but when you’re left with nothing and not a little dog you love, it is very hard,” Mrs Ashby said.
Mr Ashby said he had no problem with longline fishing devices but using them in an area where there are dogs and children is “just asking for trouble.”
“We just don’t want it to happen to someone else so we need to make people aware if they are walking down the beach,” he said.
An MPI spokeswoman said it will consider what occurred and whether any rule changes may be needed.