A family has been left heartbroken after their puppy tragically died after eating a face mask.
Oscar, a 16-month-old Cocker Spaniel, died earlier this week after eating the mask on Duke's Drive in Chester.
Tragically, the wire of a discarded mask perforated Oscar's intestine, with vets unable to save the pup, despite their best efforts.
Oscar's owner, Emma Paul, said she, her husband and three children were left in "complete and utter shock" following the incident.
The family now want to raise awareness for other dog owners so an incident like this doesn't happen again.
Speaking to CheshireLive, Emma said the family came downstairs on Monday morning (April 19) to find Oscar laying still and clearly "very poorly".
She said: "He had been his perky and bouncy self the previous day having had his normal two times a day walk over the weekend and racing after tennis balls in the garden whilst the boys played cricket.
"On Sunday afternoon, he became a little subdued and off his food, which was really unusual, but it was on the following morning when we came downstairs that he was obviously not at all himself and did not make any motion to move."
The family contacted the vets right away who recommended he get specialist care but there was nothing they could do.
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The pup had sepsis and surgery showed that "the damage to his intestine was just too great for him to survive."
Emma said she and her family were in shock but also 'very upset' at his 'needless death.'
She said: "We walk him along Duke's Drive every day and down towards the River Dee at weekends and there's always a lot of litter, my husband regularly picks litter up when doing the morning walk.
"It was clearly not at all intentional, but it's just so sad that it was a face mask that has caused this to happen."
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Emma and her family will be putting up posters on and around Duke’s Drive this weekend as a plea to those enjoying the woods and walks to dispose of litter responsibly and think twice about the impact of things like face masks.
In terms of a message following the tragic incident, Emma has asked people to think twice about their actions and for other dog owners to be vigilant.
"I would hate anybody else to have to go through what we've been through this week. It's been such a traumatic and heartbreaking experience."
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