A DEVASTATED dog owner is campaigning for signage to be erected along the river bank after his pet died. 

Nine-year-old Cocker Spaniel Meg became unwell after a walk from Prudhoe riverside to the Hagg Bank area of Wylam.

Owner Ken Taylor, of Prudhoe, believes previously healthy Meg was poisioned by raw sewage being dumped into the River Tyne  - an indication, he believes, the system can not handle the development of Prudhoe in recent years. 

"It needs to be out in the public domain", he said. "There's too much of it happening, people losing dogs or taking seriously ill."

Ken said he had since been made aware of several other similar incidents.

"It's dogs at the minute, it could be a little kid. Come the summer, the kids will be down swimming in the river and god forbid, we don't want this happening to someone's child.

"We just watched her go downhill; her whole renal system has been attacked. We had to make a decision there and then what to do.

"We've spent thousands with the vet, she had mri scans, blood tests, chest xrays, they couldn't find anything - other than toxins."

Meg first began vomiting and later had diarrhea and was panting. 

"If nothing else, they should be putting signs out", Ken added. "They should be making people aware there's potential risk."

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "We are sorry to hear that the dog owner’s pet has sadly passed away.

"The Environment Agency has received no reports of any discolouration, smells or damage to fish or wildlife in the river around Prudhoe. We have also received no reports of any issues to the sewage network in the area.

"Owners who are worried about their pet should contact their vet.

"We urge anyone who witnesses pollution to contact us on our 24 hours incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60."

Ken said vets did not believe Meg's death to be caused by the recent 'mystery dog illness'.