ENVIRONMENT Agency officials are set to visit a Hereford park after a number of dogs fell ill after visiting the site.

The investigation comes after 22-year-old Ilze Paranuka – whose seven-monthold springador puppy Monty died just days after being walked there – launched an online petition asking for tests to be carried out at Belmont Park and lake.

Ilze’s call for urgent investigations came after at least two others reported similar experiences.

“Monty was fine straight after the walk but then didn’t eat breakfast the following day,” claimed Ilze.

“We took him to the vets straight away as he was only seven months old and they gave him tablets, an injection and prescribed antibiotics.”

But Monty’s condition deteriorated and further tests neither uncovered the problem nor made him better before he died.

Ilze added: “I posted what had happened on Facebook and several people responded to say they had similar experiences. That was the moment I thought it needed to be investigated.

“I’m not saying it’s definitely the area but it’s suspicious that people living around there have the same story.”

The Environment Agency has confirmed that an officer will be visiting and taking samples from the site.

“In the past, blue-green algae has been present in the lake and this can produce toxins which can harm, or even kill, animals and fish, and cause illness in people,”

the agency said in a statement.

“Sightings of suspected blue-green algae should be reported to the owner of the water body. An environment officer may take a sample and, if it is found to be toxic, contact the relevant people and organisations.”

Where the owner of the water body is not known, people can call the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.

James Bisset, Herefordshire Council’s acting parks, countryside and leisure development service manager, said: “The council and its contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places does not routinely test the water.”