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Dog owners left devastated when a discarded facemask leads to tragic accident

Golden Cocker Spaniel looking to camera dog-sad
© New Africa - Shutterstock

A family of dog lovers are pleading with facemask wearers to take extra care when disposing of their masks while warning of the tragic consequences of littering.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 05/05/2021, 20:00, Updated on the 04/06/2021, 16:32

Oscar was a beautiful Cocker Spaniel who lived with his family in Chester. Just like any other 16-month-old pup, he enjoyed going out for walks with his owners. 

But one routine dog walk would turn into a tragedy for poor Oscar and his family.

Desperately ill pup

Oscar’s owner Emma Paul, her husband and three children only realised something was wrong with the dog the following day. The family woke up to find Oscar desperately ill. They rushed him to the vet, but no one knew what was wrong with the poorly pup. 

The vet put the dog on a drip and ran a series of blood tests, suspecting that Oscar may have had some sort of toxin poisoning. They soon discovered that Oscar had sepsis and knew their only chance to save him was to operate.

But during the operation, the vet made a startling discovery. Oscar had managed to swallow a facemask during his last walk. The wire from the facemask had pierced the dog’s intestine causing an infection that turned into sepsis. Sadly, the vets were unable to save Oscar.

Family’s heartbreak

While Oscar’s family were shocked and devastated to lose their precious pup, they were also desperate to stop it from happening to others. Emma’s husband began going out each morning with a litter picker to pick up as much rubbish on the ground in the hope it could save a pup’s life. 

But the family also wanted people to learn from Oscar’s story. They put up notices in their local park to warn others of what can happen due to littering. The family wrote the sad note from the perspective of little Oscar. It says:

“I was very playful, adventurous, incredibly loyal, loving and happy. I loved swimming and ball games, but I do admit to being a little bit greedy, and I loved sniffing everywhere…I came here every day to play, but last weekend I found and ate a facemask…big mistake!”

The notice explains what happened to Oscar and that the poor pup was so ill, he could not move, and despite their best efforts, the vets couldn’t save him.

“Unlike you, I will not be around any longer to play here in the woods or down by the river, and my family are all really sad,” says the sign.

It asks people to think about Oscar and his friends and dispose of items safely rather than simply dropping them. Emma hopes that her family’s campaign will get people to think twice about what they do with their rubbish. They also want dog owners like them to be extra vigilant about what’s on the ground and what their dogs could swallow.