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General Information



If you find a live stranded dolphin, porpoise, whale, seal or turtle, ring British Divers Marine Life Rescue immediately on 01825 765546 . BDMLR have teams of trained volunteers nationwide, who will be scrambled to help a live stranded marine mammal.
For immediate help and advice on Scilly call our island's vet,
Dr Heike Dorn, on 01720 423667.

  • keep people and dogs well away
  • do not put the animal back in the water
  • do not pour water in its blowhole (the hole on top of its head through which it breathes)
  • do not touch the animal - it may carry diseases that you could catch

If you find a live seal, injured or in trouble , you can also ring the National Seal Sanctuary immediately , on 01326 221361 . The Seal Sanctuary will give advice and, if necessary, attend live seals who need assistance.

  • keep people and dogs well away
  • do not approach seals, they can bite and cause serious injury
  • never pick up seal pups - they are seldom abandoned unless you frighten the mother away
  • always report seals with rope or plastic around their necks or bodies

If you find a dead dolphin, porpoise, whale, seal, shark or turtle , ring us immediately on 0845 201 2626 . We have a network of volunteers who will record the animal before it is taken by the tide. The Strandings Coordinator will liaise with the beach owner, who is responsible for removal of the body.

  • keep dogs and children away
  • do not touch the body as dead animals may carry diseases that you can catch
  • do not put the body back in the sea


At a first look, the beach may look like a pretty safe haven for your dog: the sand is soft, there are no cars and you are always there to supervise him. Yet, sometimes with the best intentions, accidents may happen. At a closer look, indeed the beach may hide some dangers, following are some guidelines to protect your pooch and safeguard your happy moments.

  • Prevent Eating Sand

Some dogs may resort to eating some sand at the beach. This can cause an upset stomach because the sand may be irritating to the stomach, but in some cases, when a lot of sand is ingested it may cause a serious intestinal impaction.

  • Prevent Eating Shells/Starfish/Stones/Seaweed

These can potentially cause choking, intestinal blockages if swallowed in large chunks or whole, or they can cause injury as they pass through the gastro-intestinal system. Watch as well for other stuff such as fish hooks, algae, dead sea gulls or the alike.

  • Prevent Drinking Salt Water

Drinking a lot of salt water may cause sickness because of the bacteria found in it and/or because the high salt content may throw the dog's electrolytes off balance causing nausea and vomiting. In some cases, when too much water is consumed, the dog's sodium levels may rise causing severe dehydration and even death.