A dog owner is warning of the dangers of a popular crate after her beloved pooch was impaled through the mouth.
Lara Robertson from Central Coast, Australia recently brought home a puppy called Murphy as a friend for their two-year-old Cavoodle, Marley.
Last week she and husband Andy bought two Pet Folding Crates from Kmart, a popular retailer, so they could train both dogs to sleep in them overnight.
"Crate training is hard work, however, we were noticing he was starting to sleep through the night," Lara said in a Facebook post.
But on Monday night at about 11:30pm she heard "the most horrible screaming sound" coming from the crates, and rushed to see what was wrong.
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"I came out to find [Marley] was impaled through his mouth with one of the bars from the crate."
She believes the dog, who weighs only 5kg, had tried to open the gate when a piece of the crate snapped off and jabbed him in the mouth, trapping him on the bars.
Lara spent 10 minutes trying to remove Marley's face from the bar while he cried in pain, which she says was "horrible".
He has a vet appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning, the earliest they could book him in.
Andy said their three kids (one of whom has autism) have all been crying since the upsetting incident.
Lara ended her Facebook post with a warning to dog owners considering buying the same Kmart item.
"I cannot believe how dangerous this crate was – do not buy!!!" she said in her post, which was shared to a popular Cavoodle dog owners group.
Other Facebook users have chimed in with their own experiences of the crate.
"My dog hated the crate and got his head stuck. It was horrible, I felt so guilty," one user said.
Another added: "My pup did not like the whole crate thing…she managed to bend the bars open and proceeded to escape out of it."
"The health and safety of our products are our number one priority and this information is being taken extremely seriously," a Kmart spokesperson told 7 News.
Crate training, in which dogs are locked in a cage overnight or while their owners are out, is a controversial practice, with animal rights groups such as PETA calling it "just a way to ignore and warehouse them until you get around to taking care of them properly".
"It deprives dogs of the opportunity to fulfil some of their most basic needs, such as the freedom to walk around, the opportunity to relieve themselves, and the ability to stretch out and relax," PETA has said.
The group added: "It also prevents them from interacting with their environment and learning how to behave in a human setting."
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