Burnham coastguard's plea to dog walkers after pooch off lead is left with 'broken leg'

The National Trust warns dog walkers on its website to keep their pets on a lead when at Brean Down. Credit: BPM Media

A Somerset coastguard team has reminded dog walkers of the "grim" risk they take when letting their dogs run around near cliff edges.

Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team had to post a warning on Facebook after receiving a call about a dog in trouble on Brean Down on Sunday (14 March).

It is not clear if the dog fell from the top of the rocky cliffs, but witnesses reported seeing its owners carrying it away from the area with what looked like a broken leg.

Brean Down is a National Trust beauty spot and features a natural pier that juts out to sea, with cliffs almost 100m above the beach below.

In the social media post, the Coastguard crew said a caller rang in at 11.13am reporting "concerns for a couple with an injured dog".

They added: "The dog was said to have a broken leg and the couple faced a long walk off the Down carrying the poor pooch.

"Once we arrived at Brean we split the team into two.

"One half walked up the steps to look for the couple and the rest were in the truck and headed up along the road doing the same.

"As the truck made its way along the Military Road the VHF radio crackled into life."

The team on the ground relayed they had spoken to other dog walkers, who confirmed they had seen the couple carrying the injured dog from the area.

During their search they said they found other dogs being walked with no leads, running freely.

The post continued: "A safety warning was issued to them we explained why we were there and what the consequences of dogs falling from the side are.

"Hopefully, we managed to get through to the owners as frequently we find that as soon as they think we are gone they immediately let them back off lead.

"Please keep your dogs on leads on high ground, the injuries sustained by dogs could be life-changing or life-ending.

"Sadly that is the grim reality of dogs that fall from the sides.

"Please don't risk your fur babies for a simple thing as a lead."

The post also thanked the individual who called the rescue team and added that it is better for their crews "to go along and not be needed that be needed and not called".

On the National Trust website it also stresses the importance of dogs being kept on leads.

It reads: "Please keep your dogs on short leads at all times.

"Due to the nature of Brean Down's rocky cliff edges, keeping your dogon a lead keeps them safe."

Read more: