FIVE dogs are now known to have died of Alabama rot in the Leigh area.

Tyldesley resident Gary Hallows was told by veterinary specialists Anderson Moores that his cocker spaniel Sally had died after contracting the mystery condition.

“I was 99.9 per cent sure that is what it was, and to have it confirmed has just brought it all back again. It doesn’t change anything. It is still horrible,” he said.

Mr Hallows contacted the Journal when Sally fell ill and was one of the first to raise the alarm about the condition in the borough.

He has set up a Facebook group, through which he hopes to share information without spreading panic, and is organising an awareness event to raise money for the Animal Health Trust and Anderson Moore.

Gary said: “The event is going to be towards the end of July at Worsley Garden Centre, and we are asking people to get in touch with ideas for stalls.

“I’m hoping businesses will donate prizes for a raffle and we are going to hold tombola, a bouncy castle and, potentially, a falconry display.

“We are just hoping to make the day as much fun as possible and, hopefully, raise some money.”

Cases of the mystery disease have been reported by people who walk their dogs in Lilford Wood, the Squires Lane area of Tyldesley and Pennington Flash.

Little is known about the disease, but owners have been advised to wash down their pets and shoes after a walk.