Sheffield mum's beloved dog died after her street became plagued with ‘rats as big as cats'

A Sheffield mum who says her street is plagued by rats ‘as big as cats’ has demanded action after her beloved pet dog died of a rat-related disease.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:44 am

Paula Burgin, of Firth Park, was devastated when her bulldog Elsa became poorly and died just before Christmas.

A vet told her that the pooch had died from a bacterial infection called Weil’s Disease, which she most likely picked up from rat urine or blood while playing in the garden of their Tideswell Road home.

Since her pet’s death, Paula says a ‘rat infestation’ across the Firth Park area has ‘gone from bad to worse’ to the point where she fears for the safety of her children, her neighbours and two remaining dogs.

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Elsa the bulldog (left) died after contracting Weil's disease, which is caused by rats. On the right is a picture of a rat Paula Burgin found in her garden.
Elsa the bulldog (left) died after contracting Weil's disease, which is caused by rats. On the right is a picture of a rat Paula Burgin found in her garden.

The mum-of-two said: “I’m at my wits’ end. They’re everywhere. We had to burn our shed down after the rats got in and shredded the Christmas decorations inside, leaving the floor soaking with rat wee.

“They’ve left holes in my black bin- I went to the other bin the other night and six rats scarpered out. I can hear them screeching when I’m in bed.

“I bought this house and have spent a lot of time and money doing it up. But I can’t even let my dogs out in the garden because I’m scared they’ll die too. It’s 2020 but I’m living in the Victorian times.”

Paula says five properties on Tideswell Road are badly affected, three of which are owned by Sheffield City Council and two of which are privately owned.

Paula now fears for the safety of her two children and pet dogs.

She has paid prviately for pest control after rats got into her house.

But this made ‘little difference’ and she claims she has had difficulty getting help from Sheffield City Council as she is not a council tenant.

“But my neighbours in the council-owned houses don’t seem to be getting anywhere fast either,” she added.

“In fact one of them is moving out as she believes it’s only a matter of her time before one of her young children is bitten.”

The Star has contacted Sheffield City Council for comment.