ANOTHER beloved pet has been killed by the deadly toxin that has already claimed the lives of 12 dogs in the New Forest, but this time after walking at Verely Hill near Ringwood.

Distraught owner Josie Reavely is warning other dog walkers that the fatal toxin is not just confined to the Ogdens area near Fordingbridge - the popular dog walking spot where several dogs are believed to have absorbed it into their bloodstream.

Ms Reavely walking her two-year-old dalmation cross breed, Starbuck, at the Forestry Commission beauty spot near the Smugglers Road car park on March 24.

He was put down on Wednesday April 3 after suffering acute renal failure.

Starbuck is believed to be the first dog to have been infected by the toxin at this location.

Ms Reavely said: “Dogs are at risk at other places and not just Ogdens. We need signs here to warn owners. I took Starbuck out on a circular route at Verely Hill – a walk that we had been on together many times. A few days later he began licking his paw and when I looked there was a lesion on his toe which had not come from a cut or graze.”

Starbuck was admitted to Cedar Veterinary Surgery in Ringwood before being sent to specialists Anderson Moores in Winchester a few days later as his condition worsened.

“They worked so hard to save him, but in the end I couldn’t bear to see him in such a terrible state; we had no choice but to put him to sleep,” said Ms Reavely.

Her mother Lorraine Graley said they want to raise awareness that the problem is not confined to the Latchmore and Ogdens area and to warn other dog owners to be careful.

“We do not want anybody else to suffer the trauma and upset that we have had to,” she said.

“Starbuck did not have any injury after his walk; the first sign of any illness was a lesion that appeared on his toe near the nail bed.”

The source of the toxin is still unknown but pollution experts are working to identify it.

New Forest District Council has stated that they will be leaving the investigation to vets as they await results from samples sent to the USA.

A Forestry Commission spokesman said: “Tests completed to date including those for toxins, bacteria and viruses have proved negative - environmental and veterinary investigations are ongoing.

“The reported cases to date have all been around the Ogdens area of the New Forest. The Smugglers Road Car Park is outside of the area where cases have been identified and was therefore not immediately signed.

“The number of cases is a small proportion of the dogs walked in the New Forest every day and we would ask owners to be vigilant, and to contact their vet if they have any concerns about their dogs.”

One of the theories behind what is responsible is that there could be toxins in the soil, which have made their way into rivers and puddles following recent heavy rainfall.