Mystery substance stains dogs' legs orange after walk on Hartlepool grass

Hartlepool dog walkers have been left dumbfounded after an orange stain was left on their pets’ legs following a trip out to a green space in the town.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 6:00 am
Angel's feet and parts of her legs had turned orange after walking on the grass. Picture: Barry Hodge.

A Shih Tzu owner revealed his worries after walking his dog on the grass at Town Moor on Tuesday, September 10, and noticing her fur was tinted orange.

Barry Hodge, 34, from the Headland, spoke to the Mail about the incident.

His dog, Angel, a four-year-old Shih Tzu has white fur, with the orange colour showing up prominently on her legs.

Angel's fur is white and the orange tint showed up prominently on her legs. Picture: Barry Hodge.

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Hartlepool Borough Council said it does not believe the substance is harmful to either humans or animals and will be visiting the site on Thursday, September 12.

Barry said: “I was walking our dog, Angel, on the Headland Town Moor and noticed that her paws and up her legs seemed to have gone a little bit orange.

“As we walked further along I noticed the orange colour was more apparent and was an luminous colour.

“I was quite worried as I didn't know what this was or if it was harmful to Angel.

The grass appeared to have an orange substance on its surface. Picture: Barry Hodge.

“Once I got home, I tried to wash and dry them but the orange colour was still on her fur.

“Obviously quite a lot of people use the Town Moor to walk their dogs and I'm pretty sure a lot more will have the same problem.”

A number of other dog owners have also expressed concerns on social media.

Carol Stewart, 52, also from the Headland, was walking her dogs in the same area.

Angel had to be washed when she got home. Picture: Barry Hodge.

She said: “It wasn't my dog as my dogs are black, but we were walking with other people with white dogs and we noticed their paws and tails were orange. We noticed it on our shoes.”

“I've walked dogs on the moor for almost 30 years and never seen it before.”

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “From assessing the photos, it would appear that this substance is grass rust, a naturally occurring fungus which can develop at this time of year.

“Often, affected turf will appear orange or yellow from a distance.

Even after being washed, Angels fur was still tinted. Picture: Barry Hodge.

“This substance can easily transfer to shoes or pet fur, but is not harmful to humans or animals.”