DOG owners in a Craven village have been warned to be vigilant after at least four pets could have been deliberately poisoned.

And they have been urged to tell police if their animals have been affected by poison on popular dog-walking spot Binns Lane, off Green Lane, Glusburn.

Fears have been heightened by the fact that at least eight dogs died painful deaths in the summer of 2011 in the same area after being deliberately poisoned by food carrying the banned pesticide strychnine. The culprit was never found.

Now, concerned owners have put up notices on the lane to warn others of the danger.

One of the dogs affected in the latest incident was cocker spaniel Ozzy, whose owner Victoria Baldwin lives near Binns Lane on Green Lane.

She said: "We were on a morning walk and I saw Ozzy had picked up something that look white-ish, perhaps a bone, but I didn't think much of it at the time. He was really quiet all afternoon and then it was as if he was drunk and he couldn't stand up.

"I took him to Ashlands vets in Glusburn and they thought he could have had a seizure. They did some blood tests, then I took him home. He gradually seemed to get better on his own and there don't seem to be any lasting effects so far.

"Obviously I am watching him carefully and we are going nowhere near Binns Lane at the moment.

"I have heard of at least three other dogs who have had the same thing happen, though luckily none have died.

"All dog owners in the area need to be aware of the problem."

Glusburn and Cross Hills councillor Philip Barrett said the poisonings were "a despicable act".

He said: "I am appalled that someone has set out to deliberately poison dogs. The poison appears to have been put on salami-type sausage meat.

"I'm glad that someone has taken the initiative to display notices to alert dog owners on Binns Lane. I would very much encourage dog walkers to be extra vigilant and to report any poisoning and information to the police and to Craven District Council's environmental health officers."

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that it was "very concerning" to hear about the possibility of animals being deliberately poisoned.

She said: "We would be very worried if it is the case. Anyone found deliberately poisoning an animal faces a £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison under the Animal Welfare Act.

"If you are concerned that your pet may have been poisoned please contact your vet immediately.

"Signs that your animal could have been poisoned vary and can include any of: depression; lack of appetite; vomiting; diarrhoea; breathing difficulties; appearing drunk and uncoordinated; twitching or seizures.

"If anyone has seen anything suspicious please contact us on 0300 1234 999 and the police."