People in Sydney Mines are calling for someone to fill a large sinkhole on a property after a dog fell down it one week ago.

The hole is in the backyard of a vacant house on Shore Road. It’s estimated to be several metres across and about 20 metres deep.

Gaston Aucoin, who lives near the sinkhole, said he was relieved to hear the dog survived its plunge down the hole. But he's worried the outcome could be different next time.

"The next thing might be a human being not knowing that it was there," he said.

MLA Eddie Orrell says he's been getting lots of calls since the dog fell in the hole.

"We’ve been working with the municipality," he said. "They’ve sent some inspectors over."

Orrell said the Department of Natural Resources told him it can’t do much because the hole is on private property.

The former homeowner used to warn people off the property. But now that the house is vacant, the hole is unprotected.

"But as a safety issue, I believe that they’re looking into it to see what they might be able to do – either knock the hole in, fill it in, or put a fence around it as a safety concern for people in the area."

The sinkhole is close to steep cliffs that line the shore in Sydney Mines.

Billy MacDonald said he remembers playing near the hole when he was a child. He said it's part of some old mine workings, and connects to a tunnel that leads to the shoreline below.

He believes it was used by rum-runners in the past.

With files from Wendy Martin