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Heartbreak as pooch is killed by Christmas toy

PUBLISHED: 16:24 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:50 12 August 2010

THE owners of a dog that choked to death on its Christmas present has urged the garden centre to take it off the shelves. Zoe Kacie-Malone, 34, of Poverest Road, Orpington, was devastated when her four-year-old Border Terrier Bindi died in her arms after

THE owners of a dog that choked to death on its Christmas present has urged the garden centre to take it off the shelves.

Zoe Kacie-Malone, 34, of Poverest Road, Orpington, was devastated when her four-year-old Border Terrier Bindi died in her arms after she choked on a ball last Sunday.

The 38mm Mookie Jet Ball was given to the pooch by her sister, Mel Malone, for Christmas after she had bought it in a clearance basket in the pets section of the Wyevale Garden Centre in Oakley Road, Keston.

Despite several calls to the managers of the centre, Mrs Kacie-Malone and her family have not received an explanation or sufficient apology as to why the product was displayed in the pet section.

The devastated mum said: "The ball slid to the back of her throat and the vet said the bones in her neck collapsed around it.

"I thought she was being sick at first, it happened so fast. By the time I realised what it was it was too slippery to get out. By the time we got to the vet she had gone."

She added: "My sister is devastated and thinks it is her fault but it should not have been sold in the pets area. It is so unfair this has happened, it could have been easily avoided.

"Now I just want to make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else and that no other consumers are misled."

An e-mail from the Laura Mel of the garden centre to Mrs Kacie-Malone reads: "Firstly please accept our condolences for the death of your dog, Bindi. We appreciate this must have been an extremely distressing incident for you and your family.

"We have investigated the matter with the centre concerned and we can confirm that this product was never intended for sale in the pet department, we can also confirm that there are none of these items for sale at this moment in the pet department. It would be impossible for us to comment how this item was located within the pet department at the time of your purchase."

But Mrs Kacie-Malone, mum to two-year-old Pheonix, said: "I can't believe they can't explain why it was in there.

"I am so angry that they think this is a sufficient response.

"The least they could do is call us and put a notice up in the centre for other people who may have bought the balls. I just don't want other dog owners to go through what we have."

Quality Assurance manager of manufacturers Mookie UK, Keith Segal said that the Jet Ball should not be sold as a toy for a pet as the packaging states that the product is not suitable for children under three.

He added: "It is an error on the garden centre's part to have sold it in the pet department. The ball has never been intended as an item for pets.

"It is a small ball and easily swallowed which is why there is a warning that it is not suitable for young children.

"However, we are sorry that this has happened, no- one likes to hear of an animal losing its life in this way."

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