Pets At Home has withdrawn three of its dog leads from sale after a dog broke loose and was killed by a vehicle.
Ed Hughes from Dunmurry, Belfast, was walking his beagle-harrier Archie when the carabiner clip securing his harness to the Kong-branded lead snapped open. Tragically, the dog then stepped into the path of an oncoming van.
The Kong Rope Dog Lead had been purchased by Ed’s partner Joanne McPoland from Pets At Home two days earlier. The couple contacted the retailer, as well as Kong and the original American manufacturer, Mission Pets, and the rope lead plus two other Kong products that use the same clip have now been withdrawn from sale.
A Pets at Home spokesperson said: “We were devastated to hear about what happened to Archie and our hearts go out to Ms McPoland and Mr Hughes at this very difficult time.
“We take safety concerns of this nature very seriously and are removing from sale three Kong products that use this carabiner clip, including the Rope Dog Lead, whilst we work with Kong to understand what happened.
“We have been in contact with Ms McPoland to offer our condolences and will keep her updated with the outcome of our investigation.”
Mission Pets say the carabiner clip for this rope lead is sourced from China. The lead is then licensed to Kong, which sells it across the UK and Ireland exclusively through Pets At Home stores.
The three companies are currently conducting an investigation into the incident. In order for a full product recall to be implemented, it would need to be triggered by the manufacturer, Mission Pets.
Joanne and Ed are now urging the public to check their own dog leads under the tag #Action4Archie.
Ed told Belfast Live: “Archie was basically my wee son. That’s just how I feel. I don’t have children of my own, he was my wee man, my first dog and the best thing to walk into our home. Now he’s gone our home feels desolate. Our hearts are broken.
“The three companies now want our lead to do tests on it and try to ensure whatever happened, never happens again. It will go to Mission Pets for full testing.”