A FAMILY has been left heartbroken after their seven month old puppy died after a walk in the woods.

Jade Sylvester of Allfields, Dovercourt, took her Chihuahua Princess to Wrabness Woods on Saturday with her children Faith, 6, and Ava-Lilly, 1, and their other family dog Ice.

But Jade said Princess, who is normally always by her side, went into a bush and refused to come out, even returning to the spot again after being called back.

It wasn't until the next morning they realised Princess was seriously ill.

Jade said: "We came home and that night she was bleeding but was due a season so I thought nothing of it.

"It was tiny little blood spots and then the next day being Monday I woke up to blood all over my bedroom.

"I asked my eldest daughter to take Princess to the kitchen while I cleaned up and when I got to the kitchen I realised something was seriously up as the kitchen was covered in blood."

Princess was rushed to the vets and underwent a series of tests - but everything came back negative.

The family then had to take her to Illford for overnight veterinary care but she sadly died.

Jade said: "They said she has more than likely eaten something in the woods as all the tests they did was negative and showing all the signs of rat poison."

Jade believes poison may have been left in the woods on purpose.

It comes after a family found poison pellets wrapped in ham in the same woods on New Year's Day.

She added: "Princess was like a stuck up woman towards food so this really must of been in something tasty for her to eat it.

"I had a baby with me who could of got hold of it so people should be aware this could of been my daughter or another child.

"Princess was only seven months old, she was fantastic dog, the most perfect Chihuahua.

"Iva-Lilly woke up calling baby - that’s what she called Princess - and my other daughter came running to my bedroom to get her for their morning cuddles and when she realised she was gone she sobbed.

"This has torn us all and to know this was something she got hold of rather than a natural cause has really messed our heads up - she was just a baby."

Rick Vonk, site manager Stour Estuary and Wolves Woods Reserves, said a revised notice will be put at the woods advising walkers of the incident and warning them to keep dogs on the lead.