Distraught Pet Owner Warns Others After Searching Dog Dies

A year after her dog died while playing ball, Louise Jackson wants to make sure no other pet owner makes the same mistake she did.

“I blamed myself,” Ms Jackson told Yahoo News Australia. “I threw the ball.

“Knowing that your dog is going to die – your six-month-old puppy – is going to die before your eyes, and there’s nothing you can do about it is the worst feeling.”

Donnie was only six months old when he died. Source: Supplied

Ms Jackson had been taking Donnie, her Cane Corso, for a walk near her home in Kent, south-east England, in April last year when she threw him a bouncing ball.

As the ball bounced through the air and Donnie tried to catch it, it got stuck in his throat and he started choking.

Donnie the dog sitting behind tulips looking up.

Donnie died after choking on his bouncing ball. Source: Supplied

“I knew straight away it was stuck as Donnie patted her mouth,” she recalled. “I ran up to him and put my hand in his throat.”

The distraught dog owner said she could feel the ball in her dog’s throat, but the rubber was too hard to squeeze to try to pull it out and was covered in saliva.

‘Avoid hard surface balls’

Panicked, Ms Jackson screamed for someone to help her as she walked Donnie alone.

“A man came and lifted Donnie up and did the Heimlich maneuver on him but the ball wasn’t moving,” she said. “The man then tried to put his hand in his mouth. He too could feel the ball but could not remove it.

Donnie choked on a ball designed for dogs.  Source: sportspet.co.uk

Donnie choked on a ball designed for dogs. Source: sportspet.co.uk

“Donnie was obviously freaking out and biting our hands. He actually broke the man’s hand as he was trying to get the ball out,” she said.

“We had Donnie upside down, hitting his back, pushing into his stomach but nothing worked.

“We tried CPR for about 10 minutes, but it was too late,” she said. “He was gone, my best friend was dead.”

Louise Jackson holding her dog Donnie before his death in 2021.

Louise Jackson with Donnie whom she called “her best friend”. Source: Supplied

Now Ms Jackson is urging dog owners to only throw their dog balls with holes, just in case they get stuck and avoid the hard surface balls.

“Use balls that have holes in them, like balls that breathe well, or just use a ball that’s physically too big to get stuck in,” she said. “I urge all dog owners to learn the Heimlich maneuver.”

“Donnie used to chew tennis balls, that’s why I bought this hard rubber ball because he couldn’t chew it,” she explained.

“Please, please use bullets that have holes in them, like the bullets on the right. I wish I had some.”

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