After losing her dog as a result of an incident that eventually proved fatal, actress Iza Calzado is urging everyone to think twice about plastic. The actress’s dog, Hugo, passed away after ingesting a small piece of a plastic bag that had been tossed on the ground. Having lost her dog because of something that could have been avoided so easily, Calzado called on her nearly 950,000 followers to think about what their careless littering might mean for others.

“He loved all humans so much but ironically it was human behaviour that orchestrated his demise,” Calzado wrote about Hugo on Instagram.

“Hugo was gone too soon at the age of 5 and a half. He ingested part of a plastic bag that likely contained some leftover food (someone’s misplaced litter), when he was on a walk or off leash at a park.” The cause of death was only discovered after Hugo’s autopsy.

 
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“We are writing this to share the realizations we’ve had from this experience,” Calzado said, and she shared what the couple had learned from Hugo’s untimely passing:

1. Reduce the use of plastic. Everyone knows that plastic kills sea life but this has been a stark wake up call that plastic can kill in our home. (The PHL is a Top 5 global consumer of plastic and its set to double within 8 years).

2. Let’s pick up other people’s litter. We should set a positive example if we want others to follow suit.

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3. If a pet is sick, ask the vet if she is certain of the diagnosis. If not certain then push for more testing. Our vet conducted a barium x-ray study to identify harder to find objects in his gastro tract when it was too late.”

The actress ended the posts expressing her hope that the incident will become “an educational anecdote reminding us that our day to day decisions have a far reaching ripple effect.” She added: “If you have a dog, please give him an extra hug for us.”

 

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Plastic waste is now known to cause intestinal blockages and release toxins into the bodies of marine animals that ingest it – but Hugo’s story proves that, although marine life suffers the most, even animals we suspect the least can fall prey to ingesting plastic. It is not as unrealistic as we would like to imagine and the effects can be deadly. Rethinking how much plastic we use and what we do with it once we are done is a first step in the right and safer direction.

You can follow Iza’s lead and start reducing the unnecessary plastic in your life today. For more tips on how to do this, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign. 

All image source: missizacalzado/Instagram