The RSPCA is issuing a warning to dog owners after a sausage laced with suspected rat poison was found in a popular dog walking route near York.

The animal welfare charity was contacted by a member of the public on Monday (7 October) after finding what the dog owner suspected to be a sausage laced with rat poison.

The sausage which had been split in two with what appears to be purple pellets inside was found near the airfield in Broad Lane, near Appleton Roebuck.


This 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 is now investigating. He 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.

Signs to look out for

Broad Lane south of York. Photograph © Google Street View
Signs that your animal could have been poisoned vary and can include any of the following:

  • depression
  • lack of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • breathing difficulties
  • appearing drunk and uncoordinated
  • twitching or seizures.


Thomas 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 the RSPCA page on poisoning.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.