A FRIGHTENED dog owner is urging others to be vigilant after she was bitten by an adder while on a walk on Canal Walk, Romsey.

As carer Julie Drake bent down to pick up her dog's mess, she felt "a horrible sting" before seeing blood pouring out of her hand.

With the blood still oozing, the 55-year-old grabbed her miniature Jack Russell Scooby and went to Southampton General Hospital, which said she had been bitten.

"I am just so glad it wasn't my dog," relieved Julie said.

"Other dog owners need to be made aware of this because this could happen to anyone.

"It really stung and I was frightened, but mainly for Scooby."

Julie is hoping other dog owners will be careful while taking their dogs out and stay alert to any dangers that might be lurking in the grass.

Romsey Advertiser conservationist Andy Lester said hot weather will see adders go into more exposed areas.

He said: "It's important that dog owners keep their dog on a lead and on main paths. If they don't go into the thicker grass they are less likely to come into contact with an adder.

"Adder numbers are declining rapidly, but generally speaking when they are left on their own they will not attack."