Couple's prized bulldog Fatty dies of heatstroke

A couple were left devastated after claiming their English bulldog Fatty overheated during a grooming session.

Stephen, 44, and Laura Bell, 36, had taken their three-year-old pet to Pets At Home in Falmouth as a treat after she had recently delivered a litter of puppies.

But when Mrs Bell went to collect Fatty and two other dogs, she claimed her pet was struggling to breathe and it was 'clear something was very wrong'.

Fatty was taken to the vet's surgery in the same building, while Mrs Bell called her husband who rushed from his Penzance salon.

However it was too late to save Fatty and she died shortly afterwards.  

Pets At Home carried out a 'thorough investigation' and have denied any liability for Fatty's death. They insisted the store was air-conditioned and that dogs are supervised at all times.

A spokesman said: 'Fatty's health may have been compromised by underlying health conditions which can be exacerbated in her breed type.'

Stephen and Laura Bell claimed their English Bulldog Fatty died after overheating during a grooming session at Pets at Home in Falmouth

Stephen and Laura Bell claimed their English Bulldog Fatty died after overheating during a grooming session at Pets at Home in Falmouth

Stephen Bell, who runs a salon in Penzance, said: 'She was a larger than life character'

Stephen Bell, who runs a salon in Penzance, said: 'She was a larger than life character'

Fatty was a local celebrity in Penzance and spent most of the day sitting in the window of the couple's salon named 'Fatty's Barbers' Shop'.

Mrs Bell, from Helston, said she took Fatty and two other dogs to the Pets At Home around 1.30pm on June 24. 

She said: 'At 4:30pm, I returned to collect them. Upon my return and my dogs being brought out to me, I immediately noticed that my English Bulldog, Fatty, was obviously struggling to breathe. She was gasping for breath and it was clear something was very wrong.

'I am unsure of how long she had been in this state. To get as bad as she was when I arrived, she had to have been like that for a long time. I began to panic and a veterinary nurse was called.

Mr Bell insists Fatty was in good health as had been proven in recent tests taken during her pregnancy

Mr Bell insists Fatty was in good health as had been proven in recent tests taken during her pregnancy

'Fatty was taken from me in to the vets and died three hours later of heatstroke.

'We as a family are left in complete shock, devastated and have a huge hole left in our lives.

'The whole experience was absolutely horrific and something that we will never forget. Fatty was only three.

'She was the most incredible dog we have ever had and was an absolute delight. She had been part of our family since eight weeks old. She was my husband's best friend.'

Mr Bell added: 'My business is named after her, the attention she brought to the business was unreal.

'People would come in and take photos, want to paint pictures of her, she was good with the old and the disabled.

'We'd have 50 to 100 people come into the store every day to say hello to her.

'She was a larger than life character, It's awful.

'I've only been able to talk about it recently, when

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