A WOMAN has told how her dog became 'violently ill' after diving into a pond filled with green water and slime.

Margaret Wood told how her pet Shih-Tzu Sooty leapt into the algae and sludge during a walk in Largs' Douglas Park.

Margaret, 71, says the dog became extremely sick and unwell and had to be taken to the vets for treatment.

She believes the water is to blame and has called on council chiefs to carry out tests on the water to find out what it might contain.

Local councillor Alan Hill has also backed Margaret's plea - describing the incident as 'concerning'.

Margaret raised the matter during a recent community meeting at Largs Library and Councillor Hill has now taken up the matter with environmental health officers at North Ayrshire Council.

She told the News: "It is a very popular area with dog walkers, and I am amazed that it has been left like that.

"I had to wash Sooty but some of it was too sticky and difficult to remove so I had to take him to the vets, where I was charged £35 for him to be shorn.

"Sooty is only 18 months old and it was a terrible fright for him - he was head to toe in green gunk.

"I think something really needs to be done to prevent any repeats.

"Thankfully I managed to grab Sooty quickly just after he jumped in as I wouldn't like to have think what would have happened otherwise."

The pond used to be a well-kept water decoration with a fountain, but Margaret says is has just been left to 'rack and ruin'.

She added: "It is disgraceful, something needs to be done about it now.

"In the summer this will attract all sorts of insects and bugs.

"It should be drained. An article in the Largs and Millport News a few years ago stated that it costs £30,000 a year to keep this park - I can't understand where the £30,000 is going when they can't drain a pond?

"Nothing seems to be getting done."

Councillor Hill said: "The issue was raised with me by Margaret. I have passed this on to the council and can confirm that environmental health officers are carrying out tests on the condition of the water.

"Given the effect that the water appears to have had on Margaret's dog it is very concerning. I would be very worried if local children were to come into contact with the water in the pond, at least until after it has been thoroughly checked and any remedial works carried out."

The News understands that the maintenance funds have been significantly reduced in recent years.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson: “We are investigating the water in the pond and based on what we've seen so far it is a small decorative lily pond, which if full of what appears to be duckweed.

"That is not toxic and poses no risk to the public."