Police are hunting a pet poisoner after 13 animals died in Cross Hills in a few days.

The RSPCA and police are appealing to dog walkers in Cross Hills, to take care after several dogs fell ill and died after being walked along the same footpath.

The footpath, off Station Road, is a popular area for dog owners to walk their pets. North Yorkshire police and the RSPCA received calls after seven dogs died between Friday May 20 and Wednesday, May 25. Another dog died on Thursday. A further five have since died.

One veterinary practice in the area admitted five dogs that were suffering from seizures and died shortly afterwards. Another vet surgery admitted another three dogs that were suffering from similar symptoms and also died.

The RSPCA and police are working with Craven District Council to try to determine the cause of the dogs’ deaths. Tests are also being carried out.

RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Sally Ramsden said: “We are extremely concerned about this situation. People are taking their dogs out along this footpath and within less than 20 minutes, the dogs are suffering convulsions and dying.

“We don’t know what could be causing this but we strongly suspect that the dogs may have been poisoned. We also cannot rule out the possibility that this is being done deliberately.

“These dogs have suffered horrendously and we desperately need to hear from anyone who has information about these incidents. In the meantime, we really need people to stop walking their dogs on this footpath.”

Those with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or North Yorkshire police on 0845 60 60 24 7 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Was your dog one of those to have been poisoned? We'd like to hear from you. Call us on 01756 794117.