To thank its loyal customers, the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s sent complimentary chocolates through the mail to holders of the store’s reward card.
Now, it’s hearing back from some customers who are feeling less than rewarded — and who are “thanking” Sainsbury’s (sarcastically) for poisoning their dogs.
As anyone who receives their mail through a slot in their door knows, dogs are generally curious — and not above tearing into — anything the postal carrier delivers that looks or smells interesting.
As most dog owners know (or should) chocolate can be toxic to dogs.
So, thoughtful as it might seem delivering unsolicited chocolates — a selection of Green & Black’s chocolate bars — was a lame-brained move that has now evolved into a public relations’s nightmare.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said the company was “extremely sorry for the distress caused,” the BBC reported, and that it is investigating complaints “as a matter of urgency.”
The spokesperson added, “We know chocolate is unsafe for pets to eat and that’s why we had measures in place to safeguard against pet owners receiving this promotion.”
The company didn’t say what those safeguards were — only that “we are urgently investigating what went wrong.”
Those whose dogs have fallen ill have taken to social media to express their rage.
Sarah Hayward’s cocker spaniel Jarvis was rushed to the vet after he tore into the promotional box while she was at work.
“My parents, who came home to let the dogs out at lunchtime, found the empty packet on his bed … They realized it was chocolate and the second they called the vet they were told to rush him straight in. He was put on various drips to flush fluids down him to try and induce him to be sick and, yes, it was a bit of a worry”.
“My eight month old puppy is currently having its stomach pumped and is being hospitalized at the vets this evening due to your utter foolishness, wrote another dog owner, Sammy Taylor. “I was out for less than two hours to return home and find three bars of dark chocolate devoured at my front doorstep and a very hyper puppy having heart palpitations … Chocolate is poisonous to dogs… it is well well known fact!”
Dan Dugdale, a 27-year-old designer from York, told The Daily Telegraph that he had arrived home on Monday to find his two two miniature dachshunds had eaten the contents of the package.
He said the two dogs were “completely hyper,” and he and his partner rushed them to a vet’s office, where the dogs were determined not to have had a significant negative reaction.
Dugdale said he’s not a Sainsbury’s rewards card holder and that the parcel was addressed to a previous occupant.
Photo: At top, Dan Dugdale’s dachshund with the box of chocolates he tore into; lower, Sarah Hayward’s cocker spaniel, Jarvis, who also became ill after eating the chocolates; Twitter)