Dog died in park as owner tried to save her when she swallowed toy

A dog owner claims her pet died when a rubber Kong ball got stuck in her throat. Luna, a three-year-old German Shepherd, partially swallowed the red Signature ball while on a walk with Kayleigh Hellwing, 22.

When the dog collapsed, she was able to force the ball out of her throat and began CPR - but it was too late and Luna died in the park, Kayleigh said. Kayleigh, an RAF police dog handler from King's Lynn, Norfolk, is urging people with larger dogs to buy bigger toys, and do a CPR course.

The mum-of-one said: “Me and my fiancé rehomed Luna whilst I was pregnant with Arthur. I spent every day with her until she unfortunately passed.

“As soon as Arthur was born she was the most loving dog towards him. She knew he was part of me and she accepted him like her own. She adored our family and we adored her.

"I would say to other dog owners just to be more aware of the toys and products you are buying. She has played with other balls before and has never had any problems, but the particular ball she had on that day had no squish and no flexibility.

“I would also say to consider taking a CPR course, just to be prepared in case the worst thing does happen.”

Kayleigh who is on maternity leave, was heading home from her regular morning walk with her son, Arthur, who is six-months-old, when tragedy struck, on Friday morning. “There are a few times where she has picked up twigs that have got stuck in the top of her mouth so at first I thought it was that, but I noticed this time there was lots of excessive saliva which I know from my work is quite alarming,” Kayleigh said.

“I was panicking and my instinct was to stick my hand in her mouth to try and get the ball out. By that point I was rubbing Luna’s throat as well and I could feel that the whole ball was in the back of her throat and she was struggling and getting weaker.

"There was no gap between the back of her throat and her airway.”

Kayleigh is currently on maternity leave and is due to get married in October. She said Luna was a “huge part” of her life, and added: “She got me through the hard times and my life feels so empty without her. Whilst not being able to do the job I love the most I was able to fulfil that in her.

“She was more than just a pet, she was my world, my best friend, my soul mate and the thing that kept me going. Hug your dogs a little bit tighter. Losing a dog itself is like losing your child, people who have dogs understand that. It was traumatic.”

Kong company did not respond to a request for comment from the SWNS news agency.