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Dog Dies After Getting Tongue Stuck In Chew Toy

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A Southern California family made the difficult decision to put down their dog after he got his tongue stuck in a chew toy.

The Stumpf family of Chula Vista put down their five-year old Rottweiler Maximus Decimus Aurelius last week after an unfortunate mishap with a Kong rubber ball. Jaime Stumpf told Fox 5 San Diego that Max, as he was also known, woke her up in the middle of the night with the ball stuck in his mouth. "I reached in to take the ball away and I realized that I couldn't take it away," she said.

The ball only has one hole, which Max got his tongue stuck inside. Without another hole in the ball, the suction kept it stuck on.

"The more he worked on it to try to get it out, the more it clamped down on his mouth," Stumpf explained.

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Max was rushed to an emergency vet and the ball was eventually cut off, but it was too late to save his tongue. "I'm not going to let our dog live without a tongue," said Stumpf, explaining her decision to put him down. "It's stupid."

When the news station reached out to Kong's manufacturer for comment, Vice President of Brand Impact Hillary Van Der Zee responded with the following statement:

We were deeply grieved to hear the news about Maximus yesterday. Since we've been made aware of this loss from our KONG Friends on social media we have reached out to Maximus' family. After learning of the incident, we have launched an extensive review. We are taking this matter very seriously and need to have a deeper understanding of the facts prior to determining our next steps. We do know that this product has been sold for over five years and up until yesterday, we have never heard of any dog experiencing this type of health issue. Toy safety is at the heart and soul of what we do and we will be determining the next steps once we have all of the facts in front of us.

The toy was a tug-of-war toy known as a Kong Beast and was apparently only available via Petco. It is currently unavailable via the Petco website. "We have placed a proactive hold on the product and are removing existing inventories," the company told The Dodo.

The family is considering a lawsuit against the manufacturer.