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Owner says her French bulldog puppy choked to death after Starbucks treat

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A ‘heartbroken’ owner says her French bulldog puppy choked to death after Starbucks staff put a dog biscuit in its ‘puppuccino’.  

Megan Harrison visited the branch in Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, and bought the treat – consisting of a cup of whipped cream – to take home for her three dogs. However, staff topped them up with Bonio biscuits. 

Shortly after 18-week-old Bonnie finished hers she was found dead and could not be revived. 

Ms Harrison, a support services worker, said she was ‘devastated’ over Bonnie’s death and ‘absolutely disgusted’ by Starbucks’ response. 

The 24-year-old is speaking out to warn other owners to break up dog biscuits into small pieces before adding them to anything. 

Megan Harrison visited Starbucks in Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, in September and bought the treat to take home for her three dogs including Bonnie (who she is holding in her right hand)

Megan Harrison visited Starbucks in Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, in September and bought the treat to take home for her three dogs including Bonnie (who she is holding in her right hand) 

Starbucks said they were ‘really upset’ to hear about Megan’s loss and stated that puppuccinos are not an official item on the Starbucks UK menu.

The chain admitted that dog biscuits are not usually provide, but claimed their staff asked Megan if her dog would like one on this occasion. 

Bonio manufacturer Purina said the health and wellbeing of pets is their ‘number one priority’ and that they don’t supply dog biscuits to restaurants and cafés.

Ms Harrison from Crewe, Cheshire East, said: ‘It’s so heart-breaking, I’ll never really be over it. She was just so funny and lovely and had a really big personality.

‘I had to hand-rear her myself when she was newborn. She looked to me as mum, I did everything for her.

‘She’s had them [cream-only puppuccinos] before. I’d go to Starbucks with just Bonnie and it used to be a thing that me and her did as a treat. This was the first time it had a biscuit with it.

‘I wasn’t watching her every second because she’d had them before and it was never an issue, but there was never a biscuit in there [on previous occasions].’

Ms Harrison said Bonnie was in the kitchen when she demolished the whipped cream treat while she was in the open-plan living room.

She added that Bonnie had enjoyed biscuits at home before and puppuccinos as a treat so she ‘wouldn’t watch her every second’. 

‘She had the puppuccino, ate the biscuit, went to go and get a drink of water and then she lay in her bed and obviously that’s when she died, she choked but it was silent,’ Ms Harrison said. 

‘My partner’s brother was the one that found her, obviously I then went to her and just dropped on the floor when I saw her. I didn’t know what to do.

‘Her tongue was out and eyes were open, I knew that she’d gone.

Starbucks said they were 'really upset' to hear about Megan's loss and stated that puppuccinos are not an official item on the Starbucks UK menu. They consist of a cup of whipped cream, and are pictured here with dog biscuits in them)

Starbucks said they were ‘really upset’ to hear about Megan’s loss and stated that puppuccinos are not an official item on the Starbucks UK menu. They consist of a cup of whipped cream, and are pictured here with dog biscuits in them) 

After Bonnie’s death in September, Ms Harrison’s partner contacted Starbucks to let them know what happened.

She said: ‘All we wanted was to make sure that it didn’t happen to any other dogs because what happened to me, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It was heart-breaking.

‘I’ve spoken to Starbucks and to be honest, I’m absolutely disgusted with them.

‘It wasn’t like ”Oh, I’m really sorry that this has happened”, it felt more like ‘I’m really sorry but what can we do to get you back in store?’

‘That’s all they seemed bothered about and it angered me so much.

‘They shouldn’t have biscuits in them anyway, a puppuccino is just meant to be a cup of whipped cream.’

Ms Harrison said she was offered a £250 gift card, but feels she wasn’t given a sincere apology.

She said: ‘When I lost her my mental health just plummeted.

‘I tried telling Starbucks this but all they offered me was a £250 gift card and I’m not being funny but she’s worth more than £250 worth of coffee.

‘I emailed them back and said ”I don’t want a gift card for your store because I’m not going to be a customer again, it’s pointless”.’

Ms Harrison, a support services worker, said she was 'devastated' over Bonnie's death and 'absolutely disgusted' by Starbucks' response

Ms Harrison, a support services worker, said she was ‘devastated’ over Bonnie’s death and ‘absolutely disgusted’ by Starbucks’ response

A Starbucks spokesman said: ‘Our partners (employees) are really upset to hear about the customer’s loss, the customer and her dogs are known and well-loved in our store.

‘Puppuccinos are not an official item on the Starbucks UK menu. If customers request the item we have a ‘make every moment right’ policy and offer them free of charge.’

Purina said: ‘We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the owners of the puppy.

‘We know that the loss of a pet in any circumstances is heartbreaking and the health and wellbeing of pets is our number one priority.

‘We don’t supply dog biscuits to restaurants and cafés and we would not recommend serving treats to pets in a way that leaves owners unable to see the feeding guidelines on pack.

‘This guidance indicates to the owner whether a snack is safe and appropriate for their individual pet.’

Puppies Bonnie and Billie enjoying a puppuccino in an undated photo

Puppies Bonnie and Billie enjoying a puppuccino in an undated photo 



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