A DOG was frightened and in pain when a fish hook became stuck in her mouth.

Pippa Hodge and her 12-year-old son Leo, from Hove, were walking Leo’s assistance dog Orla on the seafront on Monday when she started “pawing at her mouth and panicking”.

Pippa was horrified to discover the one-year-old retriever/labrador cross had a fish hook stuck in her mouth.

The Argus: 12-year-old Leo with Orla were enjoying a walk on Hove seafront when the incident happened.12-year-old Leo with Orla were enjoying a walk on Hove seafront when the incident happened.

She said: “We took Orla to the beach just in front of the lifeguard HQ near the King Alfred Centre.

“We let her off the lead for a run and a paddle. I saw that she stopped and picked up something in her mouth, then realised that she had a long line hanging out of her mouth.

“She had picked up a juicy chunk of squid that had been baited on to a large hook which was stuck into her gum.”

Orla allowed Pippa to open her mouth wide and “waggle” the hook until it eventually came free.

Pippa said the dog did not need to veterinary treatment and was now “sleeping off the ordeal” but the consequences could have been devastating.

Orla provides support for Leo, who is autistic, has severe learning disabilities and Down’s Syndrome and has been shielding since March.

The Argus: Orla with be Leo's friend for life following her training.Orla with be Leo's friend for life following her training.

Pippa said: “Orla is his best friend in the whole world. She’s called Orla because Leo has severe speech and language disorder but he learned to say ‘hola’ on holiday.

“We found out that Orla mean’s ‘golden princess’, so it’s actually perfect for her.

“She will help Leo navigate his teenage years and give him someone to love and care for to build his life skills.”

Pippa is now appealing to fishermen to take their hooks home and for the introduction of specified fishing zones.

She said: “I realise that people want to fish, but they should count their hooks out and back in again.

“This was big and on a length of line at least two metres. Maybe it’s time to create designated fishing areas to stop shore fishing with barbed hooks. Your discarded fishing tackle is our vet bill and worry.”

Brighton and Hove City Council said it was sorry to hear about the injury but while designated fishing zones sounded like a solution, they would be “extremely hard” to put into practice.

A spokesman said: “This is the first accident of its kind to be reported to us and hopefully it will be the last.

“We will be calling on everyone who fishes on our coastline to make sure they do not leave any hooks or line on the beach, and there are containers on our seafront that are used for the disposal of fishing lines and hooks.”