Fell into tank: Oscar *Photo supplied
Fell into tank: Oscar *Photo supplied

A landowner has been taken to task by planning bosses after a family dog fell into an uncovered water tank on his property and died.

The property owner has been told the hazard represents a danger to ‘life and property’ and has been given 28 days to safeguard the site on Sound View Road in Sandy’s.

The warning comes after Tim and Georgia Marshall’s beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Oscar, fell into the tank and died.

The two-year-old family pet went missing from his Somerset home last month during a storm.

The couple mounted a huge search for the dog with friends, family and members of the community.

But a couple of weeks later they received word that the dog had been found dead in a water tank.

They visited the site on Sound View Road and found the dog’s lifeless body close to the tank. They were able to identify him by his collar. Mr Marshall said: “Our view of this incident is that what happened to Oscar was tragic. But it could have been even more tragic if a child had fallen in the water tank. We have to be more vigilant of our properties to not create safety risks to people and animals.

“This water tank was completely covered with a layer of moss and so anyone walking over it would have had no idea it was there.”

Mrs Marshall added: “We are so appreciative of all the efforts that everyone in the community made to find Oscar.

“And a very special thanks should go to Steve Thompson of Mailboxes who delivered 5,000 flyers to his customers in the hope of finding Oscar safe and sound.

“It is still upsetting that the person who found Oscar never contacted the SPCA or the wardens to let us know what had happened.

“Finding him like we did was very upsetting.”

Planning inspectors visited the site soon after Oscar’s body was discovered by the uncovered water tank.

And on September 4 they issued the property owner with a notice saying he had 28 days to make the area safe and cover it with a concrete slab or enforcement actions would be taken by the Ministry of Environment. A spokesperson for the Planning Department told the Bermuda Sun: “The Department of Planning can confirm that the complaint address is Lot 1, Sound View Road, Sandys and the landowner was issued the 28 day letter on 4 September 2013.

“These situations are dangerous and others with unfinished construction projects should check their properties to ensure structures are made safe.”

Efforts to contact the property owner, who lives on Sun Valley Road, Warwick were unsuccessful. n