Dad’s fury as dog chokes to death on toy his son, 6, bought hours earlier
A devastated dad has hit out after his pet dog choked to death on a toy which his six-year-old son bought hours earlier with his pocket money.
Kieran Elsby desperately tried to save five-month-old pug Peppa after she began choking on Christmas Eve.
As his horrified children looked on, the 38-year-old, from Bridlington in Yorkshire, tried to clear the puppy’s airwaves, but to no avail.
Just hours earlier his son Noah, six, had purchased the £7 pack of dog chews from their local Pets at Home store as a treat.
The chain has since withdrawn the product as a result of the tragedy, pending an investigation.
Kieran said he was assured by staff at the store that the toy was safe for the puppy, and the label said it was suitable for dogs of all ages.
Kieran tried for 15 minutes to save Peppa, who the family had owned since October – and claims his complaints to the retailer have been ignored.
He said that Noah has been distraught since the tragedy – telling his parents he’d swap all his Christmas presents to have his pet back.
Kieran said: “I almost feel like I let them down because I couldn’t save their dog.
“I heard the dog making a choking noise, I ran in trying to save her. All I could see from the corner of my eyes was the children, I was hoping they would turn away.
“I realised that she was dead. The kids were asking why her tongue was blue, why her eyes were white and why she had weed herself.”
He now believes the product is not safe, and has since found reviews on the Pets at Home website from other pet owners voicing concerns about the chews.
Last night the retailer said the product would be taken off shelves and offered condolences to the family after the Mirror got in touch.
Keiran said his wife Ivy rushed to find a vet, who took the puppy away, and they did not tell sons Oliver, three, and Noah that Peppa had died until Boxing Day.
Noah received a PlayStation 5 for Christmas, but has still not played on it because he is traumatised by what happened, his dad said.
“He keeps saying ‘I don’t want it, I just want Peppa,” Kieran said.
“She was a lovely character, the boys would walk around with her in their arms.
“She really changed our lives in a short period of time, it’ll never be the same without her.”
Kieran said he and Ivy had complained several times to Pets at Home, hoping for an apology and confirmation that steps were being taken to stop it happening again.
But he said he has been disappointed with the reaction, saying: “There’s just no empathy or acknowledgement, we’ve just been fobbed off.”
When he looked on the Pets at Home website he was shocked to discover poor reviews of the product, with one branding it a “choking hazard”.
The review, posted two years ago, said: “Absolutely do not buy, my 15 week old puppy got one of these bones stuck in his mouth and almost choked.”
Another said: “My dog has just come out of surgery having had one of these bones removed from his intestine. I can’t believe they are still being sold looking back at the reviews. £2000 vet bill as a result of buying a £5 toy!”
A Pets at Home spokeswoman said: “We are extremely sad to hear of the death of Peppa and our thoughts are with the family.
“This product is a worldwide brand which is sold by many retailers both on the high street and online.
“We are, as a matter of urgency, investigating the product in conjunction with the product’s manufacturer, and will remove the product from sale until our investigations have concluded.”