A DEVOTED owner could not prevent his dog smashing his teeth on pebbles thrown by children due to coronavirus fears.

Aidan Looney from Woodingdean took his dog Paddy to Brighton beach on Thursday.

The two-year-old black labrador-collie cross was running around and jumping in the sea when he noticed some children throwing stones near the shoreline and headed in their direction.

Aidan said: “Paddy thought it was a game and he wanted to join in.

“We tried to call him back but the children had already run over to him and were throwing rocks for him to catch.

The Argus: Aidan with his beloved dog PaddyAidan with his beloved dog Paddy

“We couldn’t see any sign of their parents anywhere.

“Suddenly a little boy picked up a big rock.

“We knew what was going to happen but felt powerless to stop it as we didn’t want to get too close to the children, let alone take the rocks out of their hands.

“I think if there was no social distancing it would have been a completely different story.”

Paddy caught the big rock and it smashed two of his front teeth.

Aidan rushed over to him and took him straight home to call the vet.

The 24-year-old said: “When we got back his teeth were bleeding and we weren’t able to take him to a vet until the next day as they were closed. He was whining and in a lot of pain that night.”

Aidan was told he can either pay £700 for Paddy’s teeth to be taken out or about £2,000 for a vet dentist to fix the root canal.

He said: “I do have pet insurance but during lockdown I missed one direct debit payment and I felt so guilty about it when this happened, but the vet told me it probably wouldn’t have covered the dental bill anyway.

“He’s just such a lovely dog, he’s friendly to everyone – even my mum’s cat Nippy who he cuddles with.

“I brush his teeth every day so I was gutted.

The Argus: "I would hate for him to lose his smile""I would hate for him to lose his smile"

“The vet actually commented he has great oral health otherwise.”

Aidan has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Paddy’s vet bills and has already got more than £700.

He said: “I would feel really bad about having to take his teeth out completely, which is why I set up the crowd fund.

“I’m honestly overwhelmed by the support people have shown for him.

“I’ve been hanging out with Paddy constantly during lockdown and I would just be so grateful and so happy if we didn’t have to pull out the poor fellow’s teeth.”

To donate to the fund for Paddy, go to the GoFundMe page.