Two dogs have died after a walk at Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor. 

A National Trust-organised waggy walk at Fingle Bridge has been cancelled while police investigate possible poisoning.

A third dog’s life hangs in the balance with vets suspecting the same cause. The dog was taken poorly after walking in the same location two days later and is said to have identical symptoms. 

Lucy McCance from Rewe near Exeter, and her friend were walking their two dogs Tom (seven) and Bigs (three) at in the woodland near Drewsteignton for the first time. She wants to warn other dog walkers of the dangers.

Lucy said. “We were just out for a lovely walk and run around in the sunshine near Fingle Bridge. We are all devastated. It’s one of the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. The vets are querying whether it could be paracetamol that caused the death of the dogs, but they cannot say that conclusively without an autopsy. 

“Tom’s owner has asked her vets to keep his body on ice in case the National Trust wants to carry out an autopsy. Surely it’s in the National Trust’s interest to do that? How else can they protect other dog owners if they don’t know what happened?”

Lucy adds: “I hope that this alerts other dog walkers to the potential danger there and no one else has to go through this.”

A spokesperson for the National Trust, which owns the woodland at Fingle Bridge, confirmed that they had had the incidents reported to them and said they had reported the matter to the police.

‘We take this very seriously and our rangers are investigating and searching our land – so far nothing has been found and there is no evidence of anything on land in our care that could have caused the dogs to fall ill. Our thoughts are with the owners of these family pets during this difficult time.”

A police spokesperson said: “Enquiries are ongoing to understand the full circumstances. Anyone with information which may assist us is asked to please contact police on 101 quoting log 300 of 20/4/24.”