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Dog walkers told to avoid a Sawbridgeworth park after spate of illness

Black and white collie plays in park dog-serious
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Several dogs from a small town in Hertfordshire have been hit by a mystery illness thought to have been contracted after visits to a local park. The county council has begun an investigation and has told dog walkers in the meantime to avoid the area.

By Nick Whittle , 11 Sep 2019

Dog walkers choosing to walk their dogs in Pishiobury Park near Sawbridgeworth will, for the time being, be warned of the hazards of doing so. After a recent spate of dog sickness, the park is unofficially off-limits until the cause of the outbreak is ascertained.

Writes the Hertfordshire Mercury, “East Hertfordshire District Council advised pet owners to take their dogs elsewhere for walks whilst they investigate.”

Sickness and diarrhoea

A number of dogs have reportedly suffered sickness and diarrhoea after visits to the park just south of Bishops Stortford.

A Tweet from a council spokesperson yielded several replies from owners of dogs that became ill after visiting the area.

@paulj131313 wrote, “We visited the park 3 times this week with our border collie. We're currently in Cornwall and had to visit the local vet today as she having severe diarrhea. Are there any specific symptoms with the reported illness as now suspect could be linked?

@germanspitz wrote: “I'm a dog Walker and I'm over the park most mornings. I walk a golden retriever twice a week over there and she also has had severe diarrhoea but went to the new forest on holiday for a week and was fine. I'm now feeling this is linked to pishobury.


When a dog suffers with sickness or other ailments after walking the causes are numerous. A dog can become sick by eating too much of something that doesn’t agree with it, or consuming something riddled with bacteria.

A more sinister cause may be the deliberate poisoning of food on the ground. However, it should be noted that such a cause is exceptionally rare and may not be the case with the Pishiobury Park dogs.

East Hertfordshire District Council told Wamiz, “We are investigating with the assistance of the police and environmental health. We advise that owners are vigilant of what their dogs are eating and to keep them under close control at all times.

We have consulted the grazier who is satisfied that there does not appear to be any immediate danger for the cattle. If you have any concerns please contact your vet in the first instance and then report to us via email”.