A BARNSLEY vet has issued a warning to dog owners after her Jack russell died after suffocating on a plastic bag.

Melissa Saville, who works at the Hoyland branch of Abbey Vets, lost her 14-year-old rescue dog Pip last week after he suffocated on an empty cheese bag.

Melissa said: “We are not sure how Pip had managed to get the plastic bag. When I first saw him on the floor I thought he was asleep but then I noticed the bag over his nose and realised the worst.

“Pip was a much-loved member of our family for 10 years and we thought the world of him. If he had died from natural causes I could have coped a lot better but losing him this way is absolutely terrible.

"I don’t want anyone else to have to experience what happened to us and to feel the pain and sadness that I feel now, so I want to alert pet owners about the real dangers posed by plastic bags.”

“This is why I’m urging all pet owners to make sure that they dispose of any plastic bags, whether it’s a crisp packet, sandwich bag or food wrapper, into a sealed bin so that their pet can’t get hold of it.

"As a further precaution they could snip a hole in the bag before disposing of it, just in case the pet should get the bin open.

Abbey Vets Practice Principal Tony Duffy said: “Cases such as this are relatively rare but sadly they do happen. A plastic bag will quickly create a vacuum-like seal, cutting off a pet’s oxygen supply.”