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Dog owners are removing their pets’ collars in a heartbreaking tribute

We're not crying, you're crying

Dog owners are removing their pets’ collars in a heartbreaking tribute

This might genuinely be the saddest story we’ve heard all year, if not ever.

We mean it. If you’re not left in tears by this then you must have a heart of stone.

It’s about a dog – well, more than one dog, actually – and it will ruin you. Perhaps as much as this tale about an old dog called Walnut, or this one about the last 9/11 rescue dog to go to doggie heaven.

We just wanted to make sure you’re properly prepared, with tissues at the ready.

It all begins with the story of Rocco, a border terrier who sadly died when he got his collar caught on a kitchen door handle.

“My poor boy caught his collar on a kitchen door handle! He must have been jumping up to get on the work top and fell down catching the collar my poor Mum found him hanging on the door,” Rocco’s owner, Adrian James, wrote on Facebook.

A fellow dog paying its respects to Rocco (Instagram)

He posted the message in the ‘Border Terrier Owners’ Facebook group, sparking a number of sympathetic messages from others.

Clearly plenty of owners realised the same thing could have easily happened to their dog, and that explains the show of solidarity which followed.

Using the hashtag #CollarsOffForRocco, dog owners have been sharing photos of their pets with their collars removed, to highlight the risk posed by leaving dogs unattended indoors with their collars on.

The results are, as you can imagine, adorable and heartbreaking.

In addition to simply using the hashtag, many have gone above and beyond, sharing details of why it is so important to raise awareness.

Very sad story about Rocco ?#collarsoffforrocco #borderterrier #borderterriersofinstagram

A post shared by Oscar (@border_terrier_sker) on

Our family is so torn up to hear about fellow border terrier pup Rocco from ?? who passed away last week. Poor little Rocco got his collar stuck on a kitchen door handle while his family was not home. We can’t even imagine what Rocco’s family must be going through. Sending ? and our prayers ? Please do not leave collars on you pets while they’re unattended ? #collarsoffforrocco . . . . . . #borderterrier #dogsofcanada #eastvandogs #borderterriersofinstagram #cutepetclub #borderterrierpuppy #borderterrorist #btposse #borderterrierposse #puppy #puppiesofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #borderterriers #terrier #vancouverisawesome #woof #instadog #dogs #petstagram #dogstagram #pup #vancitybuzz #puppylove #dailypuppy #pawsinvancity #dogsofvancouver #dogsofyvr #borderterrierguru_feature

A post shared by Malik (@leaky_maleeky_borderterrier) on

At the time of writing, more than £5,000 has been raised for UK charity Border Terrier Welfare in Rocco’s name.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye.

(Images: Instagram)