A Shoreham dog owner is warning beach-goers to dispose of their barbecues correctly after her pet burnt its paws on what she believes was a buried barbecue at Shoreham Beach.
Caroline Lettres was walking her Staffordshire Bull Terrier Woody and her Jack Russell puppy Poppy near her home in Shoreham Beach last Saturday, as she does everyday.
The 32-year-old said: “We were playing out in the sun with the little ones, we were down there for a good hour, playing in the water.”
It wasn’t until much later that night that Caroline realised Woody was limping and she noticed his front two paws were burnt.
She said: “There are big blisters and the skin’s come off, it’s not good at all.”
As a responsible dog owner, Caroline said she had checked the temperature of the pavement with her hand before leaving the house to see whether it was too hot to take the dogs out.
She believes the cause of the burns must be a buried barbecue, as only Woody’s front paws were affected and Poppy was not burnt at all.
She said: “He’s been in so much pain the last few days and he now can’t be walked for at least a week and there is nothing I can do for him other than clean his wounds and soothe them with special cream I had to buy from the vets.”
Caroline, who is an avid beach-goer and loves having barbecues herself, said: “It’s been really hot, there are lots of people down there.
“It’s quite common, a lot of youngsters go down there and have a barbecue.”
She believes many people do not fully realise the danger of simply covering up their used barbecue with beach stones.
“Please make sure they are put out properly and cold before you leave,” she said.
“There is plenty of water available at the beach so no excuse!
“Burying it underneath stones not only keeps the heat of the barbecue it continues to heat the stones on top and can last hours maintaining the heat.”
She added: “I’m so glad a child didn’t step on it.”
According to Adur District Council, barbecues are not allowed at Shoreham Beach, as well as Kingston Beach, Southwick and Fishersgate beaches.
Barbecues are permitted on Lancing Beach from April through to October each year in the designated area to the west of the beach where special disposal bins are provided.
They are also permitted at Worthing beach.