By Rebecca Chitolie


THIS UK mum has a simple warning for holidaying pet-owners after her holiday was left in ruins when her family dog died after a neglectful dogsitter lied about being licensed.

Aesthetician Lauren Hauxwell (36) and her daughter Myah (9) from from Mansfield, Nottingham went on a £1,750 holiday to Turkey for four days, until they received a devastating text message from their highly recommended dog sitter, that their healthy six-month-old Samoyed puppy, Boo, had died due to a gastroenteritis infection.

The family bought the puppy a week after Myah, who suffers from severe microphthalmia and has had a series of surgeries, returned to the UK from having a bionic eye made in America.

As soon as the family found out they wanted to book the next flight home, but the extra £400 was too expensive for them. After spending the remaining two days of their holiday trying to comprehend their loss, they took the three-and-a-half-hour flight home.

Incredibly, the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in Austria, after a fellow passenger had anaphylactic shock due to a nut allergy.

The crew rushed to help the person and appealed to passengers with anaphylactic shock training. Luckily Lauren and another passenger were both trained in anaphylaxis CPR and the pair sprung to help the collapsed woman who had lost her pulse for four minutes.

They were successful and after the woman regained consciousness, the flight landed in Austria, where the air ambulance came on board and carried the surviving patient from the craft.

Upon returning to the UK, just two hours delayed after having the emergency landing, Lauren struggled to comprehend how their loss could have happened. Lauren spoke to her vet and to her dismay, she discovered that the dog sitter had lied to her on multiple occasions.

She was shocked to find out the report from the business-owner to the vet did not align with the messages she had been sending Lauren, with inconsistencies in the timeline of her dog’s death, as-well-as the biggest shock that the dog sitter was in fact unlicensed. The vet did confirm the dog died of a gastroenteritis infection.
Lauren said that she would never have left her puppy with an unlicensed carer if she had known and is raising awareness to prevent the same thing from happening to another dog.

“I had not used this particular dogsitter before, as I have trusted dog boarders I’ve previously gone to and on occasions asked my friends to look after my dog”, said Lauren.

“However, as the holiday was a last-minute trip for myself and my daughter, those options weren’t available, so I reached out for recommendations and this one was highly recommended by people online.”

Lauren explained how she received the dreaded message from the dog sitter, that no dog owner would want to receive.

“I was messaging the owner at around 6pm UK time, just asking her to play some voice notes of myself and Myah to Boo, so she didn’t forget who we were as she was just a puppy”, said Lauren.

“To which the owner responded at 6pm saying that she’s absolutely fine and she’s starting to use her voice and barking.

“I was absolutely beside myself in shock when she messaged me at 3am UK time saying that Boo is very poorly, when the day before, she said that she was absolutely fine.

“It turns out she wasn’t very poorly either, as I found out later that by this point Boo was already dead and cold upon arrival at the vet.

“There was nothing the vet could do.”

Lauren still had two days left of her holiday with Myah until they received their flight home, knowing they’d be met with loss.

While mid-flight home, a woman went into anaphylaxis shock due to a nut allergy, which led to Lauren springing to action.

“The crew and especially the manager in charge were amazing, they moved quickly as soon as they knew something was wrong”, said Lauren.

“The emergency crew were obviously trying to deal with the situation and went on the Tannoy asking if anyone has dealt with anaphylaxis or is a nurse, and I’m trained in anaphylaxis CPR.

“There was another passenger who also knew CPR and did the compressions while I was on mouth. The unconscious passenger regained consciousness, after completely losing her pulse for four minutes.

“The emergency landing in Austria was very fast, it was around ten minutes since it happened and then the crew were amazing and then the air ambulance came on board and took her away in the ambulance.”

Lauren said that the crew made an announcement and thanked her and the other person who administered CPR, and that she knew the person who she saved and had become closer, with the woman planning to visit her soon.

“After we landed back home in the UK in Luton, the crew made an announcement thanking myself and the other lady who helped, there was lots of cheering and Myah had a photo with the pilot and stewardess manager”, said Lauren.

“I know the sick passenger. She lives in the next town to where I live and she’s going to visit me soon.

“Her vitals were good when we left and she’s doing well now, she does have two broken ribs from CPR but she is alive and well.”

When returning home, Lauren tried to make sense of her own loss and spoke to the vet, putting together the timeline of Boo’s death and found holes in the dog sitter’s stories.

“I found out Boo contracted a gastroenteritis illness which is triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system that can come from water, other animals and objects that are contaminated”, said Lauren.

“This bug is a very nasty and fast acting bug in humans, which adults even struggle to survive, so being left for six hours without any medical treatment as a puppy, she didn’t stand a chance.

“There were also inconsistencies in the timing the dogsitter was giving me while I was on holiday and those she was giving to the vet.

“I later found out that the owner had told the vet, who took in the puppy after Boo became ill, that Boo started being sick and having diarrhoea by 4.30pm. Yet at 6pm the dogsitter texted me to tell me she was doing fine.

“The vets concur with me that the timelines don’t add up.

“I believe she was on her own. Why did she leave her six hours before seeking any medical advice or informing us?

“The business owner also said that she didn’t have other animals boarding with her which I found out later, she did and there were other dogs there. She obviously didn’t move the other dogs away either.”

Lauren said that herself and Myah are still traumatised from the death of their dog and have now cremated the puppy.

“Boo has been cremated and we have a little stand for our dog to keep her memory with us”, said Lauren.

“The owner has no remorse and accountability.

“It was Myah’s dog, it was for her after getting through the trauma she’s been through with getting her bionic eye, travelling so much and moving on from that, but now her dog’s gone.”

Lauren said that she wants to raise awareness so the same doesn’t happen to another dog.

“The dogsitter lied to me by saying she was fully insured with 14 years of experience,” said Lauren.

“I’m trying to sue the dog sitter now.

“We’re devastated and we just don’t want it to happen to another dog. I wish I’d checked that she was registered, then I wouldn’t have left her with her.”