A DOG owner has taken a bag of smashed glass she collected from the river to Chippenham Town Hall after her Labrador sliced its paw open on a broken bottle.
Nicky Townsend is having to pay hundreds of pounds in vet bills for Lily, aged one, after she was injured in shallow water next to the cycle path that passes underneath Avenue La Fleche.
Mrs Townsend, who lives in Pewsham, said: “It was like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, blood everywhere, she was yelping. She jumped right on top of it and her paw is completely split right down the middle.
“I wish people would stop and think about what they’re doing. Great fun sitting there having a drink and smashing the glass, but totally thoughtless about what can happen. There are children down there. It could have been someone’s main artery.”
Garden Veterinary Group in Bristol Road, which treated Lily, said this was a common problem in the town.
Senior partner Dewi Jones said: “It is an issue. We are seeing animals on a monthly basis. In the worst cases, they are very badly cut and it goes through the tendons and it is costly, but the majority we are seeing are cut pads.”
Mrs Townsend said it was not the first time she had picked up smashed lager bottles from that area of the river. After the incident, on July 14, she asked Chippenham Town Council to put up signs warning of glass at the scene, but they refused.
Adrian Jones, head of service delivery at the council, said: “If dogs are swimming in the river, that is the owners’ responsibility.
“We take care of one metre either side of the path. If a dog veers off that area, we cannot take responsibility for any hazard.”
Mrs Townsend said: “I don’t want any other dog, or child to get hurt.”
The land next to the river belongs to the Borough Lands charity, which said it would send a warden to check for glass on the path.