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People rally to help family of poisoned support dog in Martham

PUBLISHED: 10:42 29 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:48 29 October 2015

Ben Jansen (11) with Luna who swallowed some slug pellets and survived, sadly his support dog Hovis was poisoned and died after eating them.

Picture: James Bass

Ben Jansen (11) with Luna who swallowed some slug pellets and survived, sadly his support dog Hovis was poisoned and died after eating them. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

A fundraising page set-up following the death of an 11-year-old autistic boy’s support dog has raised over £1500.

Ben Jansen (11) with Luna who swallowed some slug pellets and survived, sadly his support dog Hovis was poisoned and died after eating them.

Picture: James BassBen Jansen (11) with Luna who swallowed some slug pellets and survived, sadly his support dog Hovis was poisoned and died after eating them. Picture: James Bass

The page was set up by Ben Jansen’s mother Debbie Jansen, 45, after his support dog Hovis died after being poisoned by slug pellets thrown in to the garden of their Martham home.

The one-year-old Labrador was taken to Anchorage Veterinary Hospital in Acle, along with her sister Luna who had also swallowed a small portion of the pellets, before being transferred and placed in to a coma at Lowestoft Veterinary Hospital.

After suffering from multiple seizures it was decided that to stop Hovis from suffering the best option was to put her down.

Mrs Jansen said: “The amount of support we have had so far is really overwhelming and we need as much support as possible going forward.

“I just want to warn people in the community to be vigilante with your animals just in case this wasn’t an isolated incident. I would hate for this to happen to anybody else, we are a strong family and we managed to come together and support each other but who knows what destruction something like this could cause in other cases.”

The death of Hovis has had a huge effect on Ben, who has been struggling to come to terms with the loss of his best friend.

Hovis was trained to help Ben with his anxiety and would go over to distract him when she thought that a situation with him was building-up.

Mrs Jansen said: “Ben is finding it really difficult since Hovis died. He doesn’t really like to talk about her. I think that if he isn’t thinking about it then to him it never happened.”

The JustGiving page was set-up to try and cover the veterinary bills the family now have to pay, as well as raising enough money to help train Luna to become Ben’s new support dog.

The family hope to train Luna to become Ben’s new therapy dog in the coming months but the costs involved in doing so can cost around £3000, and the training can take longer depending on the dog being trained.

Mrs Jansen added: “It all depends on the age and temperament of the dog. Hovis seemed to have more natural ability out of her and Luna, their personalities were completely different. It is not clear at this point how long it could take to train Luna.”

Hovis and Luna have a strong heritage with their mother, Poppy, coming from a family which includes 17 Crufts field trial champions, and their father Bentley coming from a family of Irish Crufts champions.

At the time of going to press the page had raised £1667 with 20 days still remaining on the website.

People wanting to make a donation can do so by visiting: crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Ben-and-Hovis-fund

• Did you enjoy reading this article? Find another great story from the Mercury here.

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