A LEDBURY family is mourning the death of their beautiful pet dog Marley.

Marlborough - or Marley as he was known - was the perfect family pet.

Friendly, loyal and full of energy he was the ideal family dog.

Robert Backhouse, Marley’s owner, took to Facebook to tell his story in the hope other pet owners can avoid the same hurt and pain his death has caused.

He wrote: “He contracted the killer disease Alabama Roy while out walking around the Ledbury area.

“We are posting this for wider awareness and to hopefully save another family the pain we have just gone through:

“Our much loved dog Marlborough was killed this week by a particularly nasty infection called Alabama Rot.

“The exact nature and method of this infection is still unknown but it is thought to reside in damp, muddy places such as bogs and stagnant pools.

“It kills over 90% of dogs it infects.

“Marley was a fit and healthy dog, just 8 years old, and the heart of our family.

“He was also a staunch supporter of Ledbury and the surrounding area.

“He was a regular at the Talbot Hotel and the Feathers and even featured in a local weather report, promoting the Malvern Hills.

“He never passed up on a walk, or a tummy tickle and would say hello to anyone.

“He also did voluntary work in his spare time, keeping the Ledbury streets clear of cats (although we hasten to add that he never actually caught one).

“We walked on a number of places in the local area with Marley.

“So we cannot say exactly where he got the infection, but we would ask everyone with a dog to be particularly careful around muddy, stagnant areas.

“If your dog does get into thick mud, it is recommended that you wash them off thoroughly as soon afterwards as possible. Particularly now, which is a high point of infections in the year.

“If you see any suspicious lesions then make sure you get your dog to a vet as soon as possible.

“We had terrific care at both the Ledbury Park Veterinary Centre and Anderson-Moores Veterinary Centre in Winchester.

“Our heartfelt thanks for to them. They bought us some valuable time to adjust to his absence and made his final days as comfortable as they could be. Sadly, there was nothing more that anyone could do beyond that.”

“You can find more information about the disease here: rspca.org.uk/adviceandwel.../diseases/alabamarot

“Thank you so much for your time.”