Dog dies in owner’s arms after choking on ball bought from Pets at Home

Giulia Brown, from Guildford, Surrey, has warned pet owners after her English bull terrier choked to death on a Sportspet ball bought from Pets at Home

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Bull Terrier plays with a ball purchased from Pets at Home

A woman’s beloved dog died in her arms after choking on a rubber ball purchased from Pets at Home, she claims.

Giulia Brown had breakfast while her English bull terrier played with the Sportspet toy last month.

The 37-year-old, from Guildford, Surrey, said eight-year-old dog Elmo somehow swallowed the ‘bouncing’ £3 ball and began to choke.

She described how she walked into the living room to find him groping the wall as he silently choked.

Giulia screamed for her husband as she frantically tried to get the bullet out of Elmo’s throat.

But it was too difficult to squeeze and get a first grip due to the dog’s saliva.

The couple then loaded the 26kg Elmo into the car and raced to the vets, a two-minute drive from their home.

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Giulia said she couldn’t even enter the house after her dog died
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)








It is estimated that Elmo died within six minutes of first swallowing the ball
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)


But vets couldn’t save him and just minutes after swallowing the ball, the dog died.

Giulia said she was so traumatized by the May 28 loss that she refused to go home for three days and is even considering selling her car as it reminds her of what happened.

Abby, the couple’s other English Bull Terrier, who turned one the day before Elmo died, now constantly searches the house for her companion.

She stopped playing at all, said Giulia, who warned other pet owners of the potential dangers of the balls.







Giulia said Elmo had never had problems with the ball before
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)








She took him to the vet but it was too late
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)


Elmo’s death came weeks after Cane Corso puppy Donnie also choked on the same type of product.

Pets at Home removed the ball from its shelves as a precaution while it investigates, the company said.

Giulia said: “Elmo had the ball for just under a year. It was his favorite, he was absolutely obsessed with it.

“He was playing with his sister Abby with all her other toys, but that was the one toy he didn’t share. The ball was green.

“He had played with this ball many times before without any problems.







The Sportspet ball is sold at Pets at Home
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)








Giulia warned other pet owners of the dangers of the ball
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Image:

Kennedy News and Media)


“He didn’t deserve to go this way.”

Describing the incident, she went on to say, “It was horrible seeing him like this and my husband screaming and crying ‘he’s dying, he’s dying’, it was chaotic.

“It was like watching a member of our family die in front of us. We loved it.

“We don’t have any children of our own, it was our baby and we couldn’t help it.”

She added: “Abby is just a puppy and has been looking for it, and now she’s not playing.

“Every morning they used to play tug of war and now she doesn’t even ask for it, she sleeps all the time. It’s even sadder to see her so sad.”

Giulia said the vets explained to her that the way to get this kind of toy out was to hit the dog’s throat.

She said they added that normally it would take two experienced vets to perform the maneuver correctly, but it was too late for Elmo.

Giulia estimates that it only took her six minutes to choke.

She said her only hope was if a vet was in the room with him when he swallowed the bullet.

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A Pets at Home spokesperson said: “The safety and welfare of pets is our top priority and we were devastated to learn of Elmo’s loss.

“We have removed this product from sale as a precaution while we conduct our own internal investigation and support Sportspet in their investigation to understand what may have happened.

“We’ve also made additional guidance available to customers on the importance of choosing the right ball size and shape for their dog, as well as guidance on supervision and play recommendations.

“Our thoughts are with Mr and Mrs Brown at this incredibly difficult time and we will stay in touch with them to provide updates on the results of the investigations.”

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