A dog owner said she feels unsafe taking her poodle for a walk after it got high from cannabis it found on the ground.

Susie Hopkins was walking Dolly in Vale Park, Portslade, at around 9am on Sunday, as she usually does at that time. She took the dog around the park and let her play for around 45 minutes.

"I came back and had some stuff to do, so I put her in the crate," she said.

A couple of hours after the walk, Susie's 16-year-old son phoned her to say Dolly was not acting her usual cuddly, inquisitive self.

The Argus: Vale ParkVale Park

"The best way to describe it is that she was acting quite drunk. She was shaking and could not stand properly," Susie said.

"I thought it might be the heating, or maybe she needs to eat, but she just wasn't feeling either of those."

Susie, 34, made the decision to call the emergency vets, where she then rushed Dolly - who was sitting on her son's lap in the back seat.

"She was lying on him listless. Whimpering, but couldn't make the noise. By the time we got to the vets she was incontinent and could not stand at all.

"Her condition went downhill quite quickly."

Read more: 'Dogs have gone straight under': Owners' fears over huge hole in park

From the moment Dolly arrived at Coastway Vets in Kemp Town, the vets were sure that she had been poisoned.

Susie feared the worst for poor Dolly.

The vets ran tests on her and discovered it was cannabis. They gave Dolly fluid through an IV so she could start secreting the drug, so its effects would wear off.

She said: "We were really worried about her. I have never had this happen before."

Susie said she is scared to go back to Vale Park in case it happens again. She now wants to warn other people of the dangers dogs face while out in Brighton's parks.

"When you take your dogs out for a walk, my main worry is keeping them safe in case they run out into the road - or you might be worried about other dogs - I didn't ever really think that something like a small rollie would have such an effect," she said.

She added: "It's hard to look out for. They can just have a little nibble and continue.

The Argus: Toy poodle dolly was not her usual selfToy poodle dolly was not her usual self (Image: Supplied)

Read more: 'Stop leaving meat in park' - Investigation as animal parts keep being found

"I do feel a bit unsafe now, because she is a puppy as well. It is everywhere, you could be walking down the streets and especially on nice summer days.

"So people are going to be out smoking and just dump their stuff on the ground not knowing the impact it can cause.

"Whoever smoked that, it has just cost me a lot both emotionally and financially."


While Susie is covered by pet insurance, the unexpected trip to the vets could have set her back more than £1,000.

This comes after reports of dogs being poisoned while out on a walk in Hove Park. Pet owners said their dogs had fallen ill after walks, with two reported to have died after becoming sick.

In Vale Park, near Brighton, a person was told to stop leaving raw meat in the park amid fears it could cause a health hazard.