A FAMILY of dog lovers were devastated after their 15-month-old German shepherd died as a result of receiving over 100 bee stings.

The Connolly family from Rooksbury Mill Court is mourning the loss of their dog, Sara, following a three-day battle at Strathmore Veterinary Clinic to save her life.

Sara had been let out into the communal gardens by Mrs Keeley Connolly, but the dog strayed into a neighbour’s garden and into an area where bees were kept.

“I heard this awful noise by the back door and thought Sara was having a fit,” said Keeley.

“When I let her in she was covered in bees. I was stung 16 times myself.

“If it had been a couple of hours later my six-year-old daughter would’ve been in the house.”

Now the family have handed in a petition with over 700 signatures on to have the bees relocated.

“The petition says we are not an anti-bee campaign, we just want them moved somewhere else,” added Keeley.

Beekeeper and neighbour Sue Mowforth said that she sympathised with the family as until last year she had a dog which died of old age and knew what a wrench losing one could be.

“I understood her pain because dogs do get to be part of the family,” she said.

“I understand what it’s like to lose a dog, but it should not have been trespassing in my garden.

“My garden has never been fenced off from the communal garden.

“If they were worried about the bees they should have made sure their dog was monitored and didn’t trespass in my garden.

“Bees don’t attack, they defend. “The dog had pushed one of the hives nearly off its concrete blocks.

“The bees were only defending their home. That’s why it got stung.

“And we need bees – I’m sure you know how much good bees do in nature and how much we rely on them in our farms and gardens.

“I feel I’m helping the environment by keeping them.

“And although I’ve only had them for two years, I am a member of Andover Bee Keepers’ Association, done the courses, read the literature etcetera.

“In other words I’m a responsible bee keeper.”