A California family is blaming a popular dog toy for the death of their 5-year-old Rottweiler, Max, Fox 5 San Diego reports.
Jaime Stumpf of Chula Vista, California, told the news station that Max had happily played with his Kong-brand chew toy and appeared to be having fun — until he woke up her up at 1 a.m. with the toy stuck in his mouth. Stumpf says that somehow the Kong had gotten stuck on his tongue, possibly held there by suction from the hole on the bottom of the toy. She raced Max to the emergency veterinarian, where veterinarians removed the toy, but not without causing a serious injury to his tongue. After fearing that her dog would have to “live without a tongue,” Stumpf said she made the difficult decision to put Max down.
“It will always haunt me until the day I die that that dog, as noble as he was, laid next to me in my bed and suffered in silence,” Stumpf told Fox 5. “He didn’t need to die from that, but he did.”
Hillary Van Der Zee, Kong’s vice president of brand impact, expressed her condolences to the family and said that the company would be reviewing the product.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and need to have a deeper understanding of the facts prior to determining our next steps,” she said in a statement. “We do know that this product has been sold for over five years and up until yesterday, we have never heard of any dog experiencing this type of health issue.”
Stumpf said that she is considering legal action against the company.