A close call involving a fish hook and a beloved Corgi has prompted a Whanganui dog owner to ask local fishers to tidy up after themselves.
Rosemary Thompson said her dog Aina, a seven year old former show dog, is her constant companion, fitness trainer and best friend.
So when Aina got a fishing hook tangled in her teeth while playing in the mud flats behind Kowhai Park, Ms Thompson understandably became distressed.
"Like most dogs she likes to play in the mud, and she's enthusiastic for anything edible," Ms Thompson said.
When Aina lifted her head Ms Thompson could see that Aina had swooped on some fishing bait. The bait was still attached to a hook and fishing line.
"I went crazy with anxiety. The mud was soft and I couldn't get to her easily. She was having trouble getting it out of her mouth."
When Ms Thompson reached Aina she saw the hook was stuck in her teeth. Fortunately it had not pierced the inside of her mouth and Ms Thompson was able to remove it. Aina shook herself off and went back to playing as though nothing had happened.
"Thank goodness she didn't swallow it."
Aina did not require a vet visit and the story might have ended there. But Ms Thompson remembered other stories about dogs swallowing fish hooks and enquired of the Whanganui District Council if something could be done.
"I'm not anti-fishers, far from it. I love to watch people fish. It's very exciting when someone hooks a kahawai.
"I hoped they could get a message out about how dangerous it is to leave these sharp objects behind."
Council told the Chronicle that leaving hooks behind could also be a danger to people as well as animals.
It also placed an item in its Community Link newsletter.
"During the summer season, we want to remind people to look after our environment and others around us when fishing in our river and beach areas," a council spokesperson said.
"Please don't leave hooks, bait or lines lying around as they can be a danger to people and animals, as well as being an environmental hazard."
Council appreciated fishers who cleaned up after themselves.