I had to fork out £6k to save my dog’s life – it’s council’s fault for not clearing away grass… they need to pay me back | The Sun

A WOMAN forced to spend £6,000 on an operation for her dog blames a council for not clearing away grass and wants them to pay her back.

Michelle Wingfield, 60, took pet pooch Masie, nine, to the vets when she couldn't stop sneezing.

A scan found grass seed in the Westie's nose and which needed a £5,000 operation to remove.

More seeds were then found in Masie's paw two weeks later, which cost a further £800.

Michelle, a carer from Hartley in Kent, now wants Kent County Council to pay her back – claiming its workers didn't clear mounds of cut grass properly.

Grass seeds have very sharp ends and can pierce dogs' skin, paws, eyes, ears and nose, according to charity Blue Cross.

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Michelle said: "Masie started sneezing on our walk and it just got worse and worse.

“We had tried to avoid the cut grass but there were cars in the road and it was all over the pavement.

"Wildlife like foxes can’t avoid the cut grass – and no one's going to pay for the vet for them.

"The council cuts the grass five times a year. They could do it before the seed heads form but they don't, and they could clear up.

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"Leaving grass seed lying around just makes the hazard greater by generating more grass – I think it's negligent."

Michelle and daughter Callie Wingfield, 38, took Masie to the vets on July 17.

They say they had taken her for a walk the day before, where they had encountered piles of cut grass.

Vets said Masie – who is Callie's support dog – needed surgery and she was taken to The Ralph, a specialist centre in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on July 20.

And she then needed a further op on her paw, after Michelle spotted her nibbling away.

She said: "Masie was sneezing so much she couldn't sleep.

"It was awful watching her – she was extremely distressed and we were terrified.

We're petrified about taking the dogs out now

"We just want to raise awareness because grass seed is really dangerous and we didn't know about it before this happened.

"Once it gets in it can move through the body and even get in to the brain, and toxins can get into the blood.

“That would have happened to Masie if we hadn’t had it removed.

"Our vets are amazing but treatment is so expensive.

"We're petrified about taking the dogs out now because we can't afford the risk of something like this happening again."

Michele and Callie, who also have another Westie called Bella, have submitted a claim for £6,000 to Kent County Council.

A council spokesperson said: "We have received a claim for compensation by a member of the public and are investigating this.

“Details of how we maintain grass on highway land is published on our website."

A family last month accused another council, in New Zealand, of putting their dog down after seizing it in a case of mistaken identity.

Meanwhile, a local authority in Cornwall has prompted protests by banning dogs from a town's parks.

Advice has been offered on how to cut the costs of looking after pets amid soaring vet bills and food prices.

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A dog expert has also warned about the autumn plants and flowers which can be toxic to your pooch.

And Blue Cross advised owners about the everyday dangers lurking around town centre corners which could kill their pets.

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