Siblings issue warning after loved family pet dies from ‘eating poison’ in Westbrook

Sadly Bentley could not be saved

A warning has been issued after a dog died yesterday (April 10) from eating poison that was on the grass bank by the Sunken Gardens in Westbrook.

Distraught pet owners Ellie Penfold and her brother Alfie say Labrador Bentley, their pet of nine years, ingested something understood to have contained cyanide. Sadly, Bentley did not survive.

Alfie said: “My family are just at a loss for words at this time due to the sudden nature of it, We want to prevent this kind of pain happening to any other dog owner. Bentley was amazing.

“Hug your dogs tighter tonight and appreciate every minute you can have with them.”

On social media Ellie added: “He was my best friend, and the sweetest dog you would ever meet. there aren’t enough words to put of how grateful I am for all the times he was just there when I was happy, sad, he’d be my comfort. He truly was one of a kind and I’m so grateful I got 9 years of him.

“He passed away from cyanide poisoning. I am truly and utterly devastated and distraught. He was the best friend I could ever hope for and wish he had more time.”

Ellie said the emergency vet in Herne Bay confirmed Bentley had ingested “a large quantity of cyanide.”

A sign has been put up by the Sunken Gardens to warn people of the possible risk.

Peter Hasted, from the Sunken Garden committee, said he has reported the incident: “I’ve spoken to the police and environmental services. The owner of the dog reported the poison on the grass bank outside the garden.”

A statement issued by the committee says: “The Sunken gardeners are very sad to hear that a beloved dog has passed away from allegedly ingesting cyanide around the garden.

“We have been in the garden this morning looking for any signs of the poison but not found anything untoward. We are helping police with their enquiries and have reported the incident the the councils environmental service department.

“Until a toxicology report has been issued we won’t know if it is cyanide or if it was in a condensed poison or if the Labrador maybe ate a discarded peach/apricot stone.”

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police received a report at around 9.40am on Tuesday 11 April that a dog had become ill and died following a walk in the Westbrook area during the previous evening.

“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the death.”

A Thanet council spokesperson added: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the owners of the dog following this tragic incident.

“The event has been reported to Kent Police who have confirmed that enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the death.”


    • I think the police need to treat this kind of behaviour effecting animals more seriously and treat the crimes the same way they would when a human is a victim.

      • If this is a deliberate act then its a case of criminal damage, as the dog was property, and the police should take action. If someone has deliberately put poison out, although this doesn’t seem clear yet, then they are a self loathing, pathetic, sad cretin!

  1. I am very sorry for your loss,Ellie.A wonderful friend and companion,for 9 years.
    They give so much pleasure and ask for very little.
    All the best,to you and Alfie.

  2. Condolences to you for your enormous loss of a dear member of your family. We have great love of Labradors they have brought us much love and joy over many years as well of deep grief when they have past away. If it is confirmed that it was cyanide that should be a serious police matter to think someone has obtained it and left it where it could harm animals and children.

  3. Can only hope the scum who did this get caught, named and shamed and are suitably punished. Anyone who can intentionally kill an animal like this deserves to be beaten to within an inch of their life. Sickos who kill animals are oxygen thieves. I hope karma catches up with them.

  4. Surprised none of the aforementioned comments asking how cyanide came to be in a quaint seaside garden. Not sure if I believe it. My money is on flora and fauna toxicity.

  5. Sorry for you loss of a family member -so sad – lets hope it wasn’t someone deliberately trying to do this –
    As Mr M says possibly flora & fauna – The plants most commonly associated with cyanide poisoning are Sudan grass, Johnson grass, sorghums and sorghum-Sudan grass hybrids. Grain sorghums are potentially more toxic than forage sorghums or Sudan grass. Indian grass and chokecherry also can cause cyanide poisoning.

  6. I am so so sorry for the loss of your Family member 😭,
    I really do hope that whoever is responsible for doing this is caught,
    Run Free Over The Rainbow Bridge🌈 Gorgeous Furbaby,
    Sending love and sympathy to you and your Family at this very sad time 😭😭

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