A family has been left devastated by the death of their dog after it was struck be a delivery van.
Hazel Townsley (45) and her family from Whitecross are heartbroken after a driver for Campbells Prime Meat Ltd, which has a base in the village, hit their beloved long-haired German shepherd Ziva at around 5am on Monday, July 25.
The tragic accident happened as Hazel’s partner James Wilson was walking Ziva, who was a rescue dog from Second Chances German Shepherd Rescue, and their other pet Deano near the park where Vellore Road meets Almond Road.
Deano was off the lead in the park however James was walking with Ziva on the lead along the edge of the road, when the dog got a fright, reared up and was struck by the van.
Despite the collision, the van driver kept going and James was left to frantically call for help.
The couple rushed Ziva to a vet for treatment.
It was discovered she had suffered a broken back leg, dislocated hip, lacerations on the front of her body and a collapsed lung, which she eventually died from the next day.
Hazel, who works as a childminder, said: “We are totally devastated by Ziva’s death.
“If you hit something you immediately stop to see what has happened. The company said the driver thought he had hit a rabbit so he knew he had collided with something so why didn’t he stop?
“They have also claimed that Ziva wasn’t on a lead which is not true because she was on a lead when she was hit.
“I’m totally disgusted by how Campbells has dealt with this. They have apologised for our loss but are accepting no blame for their driver not stopping.”
Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident and say hitting a dog with a vehicle is a reportable road incident and should either be reported to the owner as soon as is practicable or, failing that to the police within 24 hours.
A spokesperson for Campbells said: “We are deeply regretful about the unfortunate incident and would like to apologise to the family affected. We have contacted the owner of the dog and are dealing with this matter directly with them.
“We are investigating this matter internally and in order to avoid any prejudice against the driver we would prefer not to share any information until the decision has been made.”