Owner's warning after labrador dies hours after visit to dog park

·2-min read

A petowner has issued a devastating warning to others after her beloved dog died after a regular trip to their local dog park and several others became ill.

Aimee Hiini, from Christchurch in New Zealand, took her "much adored" two-and-a-half-year-old labrador, Chief, to The Groynes Dog Park on Wednesday.

Ms Hiini's friend shared a post to Facebook explaining Chief died "suddenly and unexpectedly" after ingesting poison while at the park.

Once Chief was back home from the park, he seemed fine, Ms Hiini told Stuff, but later that afternoon she found him shaking in her bed.

Chief, who was just two years old, died just days after he went to a dog beach in Christchurch. Source: Facebook
Chief, who was just two years old, died just days after he went to a dog beach in Christchurch. Source: Facebook

Worried, Ms Hiini and her partner took him to the vet, who said they would be in touch in a few hours.

“We didn’t even make it home, and he rang to say [Chief] had passed," she said.

While there are still some unanswered questions as to why her perfectly healthy dog died, it has been reported Chief died of suspected poisoning.

Ms Hiini said the dog park was the only place she took him and she also has another dog – who she did not take to the park – and that dog is fine.

"Aimee and Chief walked the track at the park almost every day and it was Chief's favourite spot," Ms Hiini's friend wrote on Facebook.

"We just want to warn other owners to take care."

Dog park shuts after dog's death

On Saturday, Christchurch City Council announced The Groynes Reserve Dog Park would be closed "temporarily".

The council implied other dogs had fallen ill after going to the dog park.

"Dogs have become unwell and this is currently being investigated. The park is being closed for extra precaution," the council said.

"We will update when we have further information."

The Groynes Dog Park was closed by the council, following the death of Chief. Source: Christchurch City Council, file
The Groynes Dog Park was closed by the council, following the death of Chief. Source: Christchurch City Council, file

Ms Hiini told Christchurch journalist Chris Lynch she wasn't not blaming the Groynes Park, which she said was an "amazing park".

However, she just wanted others to be aware in case there was something at the park which is harmful to dogs.

Andrew Rutledge, Christchurch City Council's head of parks, said park rangers were searching the area to see if there was anything there that could be lethal for dogs.

He said the council does not use any poison or baits in the area for pest control, Stuff reported.

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