Mum accidentally crushes puppy to death in mechanism of new reclining sofa
A mum has been left heartbroken after her nine-month-old puppy became trapped in the mechanism of her new reclining sofa and was crushed to death.
Claire Hilton, 53, says she's been left with "unbearable guilt" after she and her daughter Kerry were trying to put the leg rest of their new electric sofa back to its original position on Thursday morning (October 27) and heard a cry of pain from underneath.
It was then that they realised their French Bulldog, Kobe, had managed to sneak underneath the new contraption without either of them noticing, Kennedy News reported.
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Claire, from Poole, Dorset, said: "I heard Kerry playing with the dogs in the kitchen, they followed her to the living room and he just went under there without us noticing.
"She wasn't sat on the sofa, she was just tidying up the room and putting the recliner back.
"We heard him yelp and Kerry said 'oh my God, Kobe is under there' so we tried to open it."
The financial analyst said attempted to release Kobe after she realised what had happened, but his neck had become stuck in the sofa's bars and the poor pooch was unable to breathe.
Kerry 30, went to seek help from the neighbours who tried to use an angle grinder to free the pup.
Sadly the frame was too thick and and firefighters were called to the scene in a bid to save the beloved pet.
However, although fire personnel were quick to arrive on the scene and managed to cut Kobe free, it was sadly too late for him and despite attempting to bring him back using CPR and an oxygen mask, the dog lost his life.
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Mum-of-two Claire, her children and her three grandchildren – Isla, 10, Evie, seven, and Amelia, five – have all been left heartbroken by the tragedy.
Claire said: "The kids are devastated, the eldest is absolutely heartbroken, Evie was a bit upset and Amelia doesn't understand.
"She kept asking questions and we just told her 'he's in a nice place now'.
"After he passed away, we put him in a quilt and laid him on the floor and Pepper [Claire's other dog] was going over to him. It's best for her to see because dogs know.
"She lays on the sofa where Kobe died.
"We're just devastated. He was full of life, he got himself into mischief and he just wanted to play all the time."
The harrowing tale is made worse by the fact that Claire only picked up the second-hand Fabb Furniture sofa five days before Kobe sadly died.
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Claire is now warning other pet owners of the dangers of mechanical sofas.
"We only had the sofa for five days, we wish we'd never got it but it never occurred to us that something like this could happen.
"We felt absolutely helpless in helping him and the guilt is now unbearable."
CEO of Fabb Furniture Matt Hesketh said his "deepest sympathies go out to the family".
He added: "We take great care to ensure that with every sale we make our customers are given a Fabb Care Guide which clearly states under the heading Recliner Dos and Don’ts that 'Unless supervised by a responsible adult, children must not be allowed to operate motion furniture'.
"The guide also warns 'when opening and closing reclining furniture ensure children and animals are kept at a safe distance'.
"This Care Guide information is also freely available on our website.
"Whilst we cannot change the very sad outcome of this incident, Fabb Furniture will continue to uphold its responsibility to highlight to its customers how to safely operate reclining furniture."
Claire explained the sofa didn't come with a care guide because they had bought it second-hand through social media.
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