A SAUSAGE laced with rat poison has been found on a popular dog walking route.

The RSPCA has issued a warning to dog owners after the sausage was found on the route near York.

The animal welfare charity was contacted by a concerned member of the public on Monday, October 7, whose dog had been taken ill.

The sausage had been split in two but had what appeared to be purple pellets inside, believed to be rat poison. It was found close to the airfield in Broad Lane, York.

The area is a regular dog walking spot for many, including the caller whose pet had been poorly for the last few days - now believed to be due to the sausages.

RSPCA inspector Thomas Hutton, who is investigating, said: “Thankfully deliberate poisonings are quite rare. However, we would be extremely concerned if someone is deliberately trying to poison animals like this.

"Dogs are especially curious and likely to eat any food they find so it’s important to keep an eye on them when out walking.

“If you suspect your dog has eaten something which may be harmful, try and stay calm and contact your vet immediately.”

He said signs that animals are poisoned vary and can include depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, appearing 'drunk and uncoordinated', twitching or seizures.

He added: “Anyone who deliberately poisons an animal faces an unlimited fine and/or six months in prison under the Animal Welfare Act."

"If you have any concerns about this please contact us on 0300 1234 999.”

For more information visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/poisoning If you have any information about this incident, please contact the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.