A Morecambe woman is distraught after returning from holiday to find her beloved family pet had died in a freak kennels accident.
Wendy Ramsey, 50, got home from a 10-day family holiday to Turkey with her husband, daughter and granddaughter, in the early hours of Friday.
The plan was to pick up their seven-year-old Bichon Frisé, Milo, from Hest Bank Kennels, where he had been staying, later that day.
But a phone call around 11am left Wendy, who is a care worker at Lakeland View Care Centre in Heysham, devastated.
The kennels had rung her sister, Dawn Bryan, whose name they had as a contact while Wendy was away, to say the dog had died.
Staff at the kennels believe Milo’s collar had got caught between wire meshing and a partition wall within his run and he had strangled himself.
Wendy said: “My daughter and daughter-in-law went to get the dog. They said he was lying down on a table and they just broke down.
“The kennels gave them his collar and belongings.
“The lady kept saying he had an unusual dog collar. In my eyes he didn’t have an unusual dog collar.”
Wendy said that a letter was also given to the family which showed that cardiopulmonary resuscitation had been performed on Milo at 10.30am and again at 10.35am.
She said: “Milo was the family dog, he was everything.
“We are so shocked. We are absolutely devastated. My husband, Kenny, just keeps saying that he wished he hadn’t gone to sleep and just picked him up.
“We thought he would be safe, We just can’t believe it.”
Milo was cremated at Burch Tree Vets in Carnforth on Monday morning.
Wendy said: “I didn’t want to see him. The kennels said to my daughter, Kirsty Bryan, what would you like us to do so she said she would leave him there.”
Milo had stayed at Hest Bank Kennels before and Wendy’s daughter’s dog had also stayed there for the holiday and was picked up on Friday.
Wendy said: “Nothing is going to ever bring him back. Unusual accidents happen, but when you are paying for somebody to look after your dog you don’t expect it to happen.
“He was my baby to me and now he is gone and in my eyes he wasn’t looked after.”
Mrs Pennington said: “We don’t know what happened, whether the dog had been jumping up and got its collar caught in the partition wall and wire mesh, we don’t know.”
“The staff were out there all the time, checking and cleaning. The girls are distraught, they were out there trying to revive the dog.
“The staff are very upset about it and we offer our greatest condolences to the family.”
Mrs Pennington said that kennels staff had spent hours on the phone with the family offering condolences.
She said the kennels had been in business for 30 years and had never lost a dog in an accident like this before.
She said: “It is a very tragic accident that couldn’t be foreseen.
“We are down in the run all the time from 8.30am to 1pm and it is a legal requirement to check on the dogs every four hours. Somebody is around all the time, as well from 3-7pm.
“We check the collars on dogs to see if they have a safety sign on or if it’s too tight or too loose.
“I hope we can learn from this accident that couldn’t be foreseen.”
Mrs Pennington sent the accident log to the family as requested.
She added: “We made calls to the family on Friday and they said they wanted the dog cremated.
“We asked did they want the dog ashes back and they replied that they wanted just a simple cremation with a certificate.”
The Environmental Health Service was called to the scene to inspect the premises after the incident.
Coun Karen Leytham, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Animal boarding establishments are licensed by Lancaster City Council’s Environmental Health team and licences are issued subject to stringent conditions.
“The council was notified on Friday by Hest Bank Kennels that the death of a dog had occurred, and an investigation was carried out by one of our officers.
“We are satisfied that this unfortunate incident was a tragic freak accident.”