DOG owners have hit out over a large splatter of paint turning their pooches’ paws blue.

Lauren Beales, 19, of Clarkes Road, Dovercourt, often walks her Labrador Nala on the field near Harwich and Dovercourt Cricket Club, in Low Road.

But she was concerned to find her two-year-old dog’s paws had turned blue during a walk there on Monday.

The support worker said Nala had stepped into a load of “dumped” blue paint by the back of the cricket club.

She said: “I’m really disappointed someone dumped it when there’s a waste centre right next to the cricket club.”

The 19-year-old said she did not find out who was responsible for the paint but she thought it matched the painted rugby lines at the end of the field.

She said: “Most line marking paints are water-based and some are not, so I just hope it is.

“I’d be petrified if it’s not as she was licking her paws.”

Halstead Gazette:

  • Lauren Beales with her dog Nala

She said she hopes whoever dumped the paint will think twice before doing it again.

Another pooch also fell victim to the blue paint.

Iain Donald was walking his five-year-old Cavachon called Mac when he walked into the paint.

Mr Donald, 54, said: “Not all of the paint has come off, even after a few days. I think he was rather proud of his blue feet, but I seriously thought it is pretty disappointing.”

Harwich councillor Maria Fowler said: “It is quite appalling and I don’t understand why people feel they need to do this, it’s just awful.

“You can never know what’s in the paint and it can be harmful for animals and humans.”

Halstead Gazette:

Danielle Grubb, the cricket club’s manager, said the “inconsiderately dumped” blue paint had nothing to do with the club.

She said: “As this is not cricket season, we would have no reason to use paint, especially blue – it’s not our colour.

“The club does have CCTV and will be looking into the mystery of the blue paint spillage. “

A spokesman for Harwich and Dovercourt Rugby Club said it is the council which paints the lines and it has nothing to do with pitch maintenance.

A Tendring Council spokesman said staff had placed soil on the dumped paint to minimise the issue. He added: “We deplore vandalism of any kind and especially something of this nature.”