A FAMILY has been left devastated after a routine trip to the vets took a tragic turn when a Worcester vet mistakenly put down their beloved dog.

Animal lover Nicholas Murphy took Gunner, his pet Jack Russell, to DJB Denny veterinary practice after a persistent cough refused to go away.

But he was left stunned when what he thought was an injection of antibiotics by vet David Denny turned out to be a lethal one, in what appears to be a error by the well known vet, of Henwick Road, Worcester.

The 22-year-old, who has had the dog since he was seven, said he just wishes he could have his dog back.

"We just want him back," said Mr Murphy, of Stallard Road, St John's, who has completed a course in animal care and hopes to get a job in animal welfare.

"My dog had a bad cough and the vet gave him tablets to control it. But it wasn't working so I took him back. On Wednesday I took him in.

"I was with him and the vet gave him an injection. I thought it was antibiotics. But it was to put him down. There was no consent form and no permission.

"He said to me, 'Do you want to bury him at home or here?' and I was like, 'What are you on about?'."

All he said was he was very sorry. He admitted he was in the wrong to me and said he was very sorry but mistakes do happen.

"I was too upset. I just didn't know what to do, I was confused as to what was going on. We had to bring him home and bury him."

Mr Murphy, who lives with his mum, 14-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister, said they are all devastated.

"It's been bad since he has not been here because we usually see him running around and coming into the bed.

"It just seems quiet now. We have him since he was born and we still have his dad.

"Gunner didn't deserve to be treated like that. All he needed was some stronger tablets for his old man's cough."

Now Mr Murphy is in the process of sending an official statement of complaint about the incident to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Ian Holloway, a spokesman for the organisation that monitors veterinary practices in the UK, said: "Whilst we are unable to comment on whether or not a complaint has been made against an individual veterinary surgeon, unless and until it might be referred for a full disciplinary committee inquiry, we do investigate all complaints we receive to determine whether there are any potential issues of professional misconduct or questions over a veterinary surgeon’s fitness to practise.

"Full details of our complaints investigation process are available on our website at rcvs.org.uk/complaints."

Mr Denny said he did not wish to comment on the incident.