Dog owner’s warning after pet dies from ‘poisoning’ in Cray Meadows,Kent

A heartbroken dog owner from Slade Green is warning other owners to watch where their pets roam after his English springer spaniel died from poisoning.

Mark Gunnell was walking his dog Tommy in Cray Meadows on Wednesday, June 20, when the three-year-old – who had seemed “well and happy” at the time – suddenly slumped.

“I thought he was just tired at first – it was quite warm and muggy that day,” Mr Gunnell told News Shopper.

He added the route he had taken with Tommy was the same route he takes every day, so it was unusual for him to collapse “not even halfway” along the walk.

After realising Tommy’s condition was serious, Mr Gunnell carried the spaniel for more than two miles to the nearest road where he was met by his son. The pair then took Tommy to the nearest vet surgery.

Tommy immediately underwent surgery after the vet concluded he had been poisoned, but despite their best efforts, he died a few hours later.

After speaking to the vet, Mr Gunnell told News Shopper the most likely causes of the poisoning were either pesticides or the early arrival of adder breeding season.

“The snakes are breeding at the moment and the mothers are protective of their babies. If Tommy had gone near a nest of babies the mother could have attacked him.”

Mr Gunnell told News Shopper he and his wife have had a hard time coming to terms with Tommy’s sudden death.

“I’ve had five dogs before but this is really devastating and it really hurt because he was only a little baby. He was gone so quickly at the age of three,” he said.

After the death of Tommy, who he described as a “beautiful soul”, Mr Gunnell wants to warn other dog owners to keep their pooches on a lead wherever possible.

He added it would be helpful for dog owners if signs were put up in fields to warn them when adders are breeding.

In a Facebook tribute to Tommy, Mr Gunnell said: “I know he is only a dog and many people go through hell but he was our world and Emma Gunnell and I are truly heartbroken and we are really hurting.


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