Animal agencies open educational garden
The loss of a family pet has helped spawn a remarkable new garden in the Channel Islands. The poisonous plant garden on Guernsey has been founded to educate pet owners on which plants may pose a risk to their animal’s health. The idea came when islander Ginny Heaume’s two dogs died less than 24 hours after eating castor oil plant, Ricinus communis. The Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) and Floral St Andrew’s wanted to raise wider awareness of the issue for owners of dogs and cats to ensure there are no more fatalities. Animal organisations, including the Guernsey Kennel Club, Island Dog Training Club and Vets4Pets Guernsey, sponsored the public facility, with help from hundreds of volunteers to undertake the work. The finished 54m (180ft) garden exhibits more than 40 plants that can harm cats and dogs if ingested, along with a conservation area, insect hotels, bird boxes and other wildlife habitats and a picnic zone. The facilities at the GSPCA centre in St Andrews are open every day for a £2 donation. “Many of us plant things in our garden without thinking,” said GSPCA manager Steve Byrne. A list of poisonous plants and garden and household substances has been compiled by the Dogs Trust. Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/ and download the factsheet.
All parts of the lily are poisonous to cats – even the pollen Larkspur is poisonous to many animals