A YOUNG couple from Andover are sending an urgent warning to dog owners in the area after their beloved puppy tragically died following a weekend walk at Anton Lakes.

At around 4pm on Saturday, April 30, Jordan Shearman and Hannah Washington took their one-year-old cocker spaniel Roo for his daily walk.

The couple, who live in Augusta Park, regularly took Roo to Anton Lakes, but hadn’t been in a while.

Jordan, 24, said: “We did notice that a lot of the areas he would usually swim were incredibly dirty, much more so than normal, so we didn’t spend so much time swimming in those areas, however he did jump in briefly for a lot of them.

“The walk was going fine, and we spent quite some time playing together in some of the cleaner areas of the lakes, and Roo was fine in himself.

“The only thing we started to notice at the end of the walk was that his eyes became a little droopy and his third eyelid began to show. We figured he had gotten too much water in his eyes so we decided to end the walk and return to the car.”

However, the enjoyable afternoon out soon turned to disaster, as Roo’s condition began to deteriorate.

SEE ALSO: New sushi takeaway opens in Andover and its already proving popular

Jordan, who works as an accountant at Aster, continued: “We drove five minutes to our home in Augusta Park and, as we parked up, we knew straight away something was wrong.

“Roo was extremely agitated and struggling to stand up, so I took him into the front with me in the passenger seat while my partner rushed to Strathmore Veterinary clinic.

“While in my arms Roo began to have fits, struggling to breath, foaming at the mouth. It was the worst experience of my life having to hold him, speaking to him, telling him mummy and daddy loved him.”

The vet was able to help Roo to breath, and administered injections in the hope of counteracting any poisonous substances he may have come into contact with.

But, though his vitals became somewhat stable, his heart stopped beating and he tragically passed away at around 7pm.

Jordan said: “Our worst nightmare had officially happened, our precious, young, baby Roo had lost his life, so suddenly.

“My partner and I are only 23 and 24, and we have just celebrated a year in our first home together, and a year with what can only be described as our first child in Roo.

“He was everything in our lives, quite literally. Our lives, our habits, our plans, revolved around our lovely pup, and so I can’t even begin to describe the pain we are in.”

Jordan and Hannah say they have a “great support network” around them while they grieve, and that they are now determined to get to the bottom of the cause of Roo’s death, not only for themselves but to save others.

“The vet has said it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what has caused this to happen to our baby boy, but it was likely a reaction to something poisonous,” said Jordan.

“Following research, it could also have been blue algae in the water. We would really like to have the council go and check the water for blue algae, and check the area for anything poisonous that could have been placed down.

“Ultimately, we want answers, but more importantly, we don’t want anyone else going through the tragedy we have had to face.”

He added: “We would like to thank the vet and nurse at Strathmore Veterinary clinic for everything they did, and the speed at which they arrived at the practice on a Saturday evening. Any chance of saving Roo’s life was enhanced incredibly due to their selflessness and we can’t put our gratitude into words.”

SEE ALSO: Andover charity supporting people with learning disabilities launches new name

A Test Valley Borough Council spokesperson said: "We have received a report of a dog sadly passing away following a walk at Anton Lakes over the weekend.

"The water at Anton Lakes is currently being sampled and tested to make sure there are no signs of blue or green algae.

"These can be potentially dangerous to people and dogs, and we want to make sure the lakes remain safe. While we are waiting for the results, we’d recommend keeping your pets out of the water in the meantime.

"For more information on blue green algae, you can visit the Lake District National Park website: Blue green algae : Lake District National Park."

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from your area by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.