Couple ‘distraught’ after beloved chihuahua dies in collision with Havering Council buggy
PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 March 2015
A devastated couple have been left with a “hole” in their lives after their tiny six-month-old chihuahua died in a collision with a council buggy.
Debbie McCarthy and Fred Ralph’s dog Peanut was playing with a bulldog in Raphael Park last week when he was hit by the park vehicle.
The couple say that the driver then insensitively suggested putting their pet’s body in a black bin bag.
Ms McCarthy, 47, from Hornchurch, said: “We are absolutely distraught.
“He was part of the family and has left such a hole.”
Ms McCarthy, a dog walker, was in the park with little Peanut, her other dog Missy, an 11-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, and a friend’s pet.
Peanut was running around a hill near the cafe and children’s playground at the Parkway entrance, in Gidea Park, while Ms McCarthy was talking to a fellow dog owner.
But she heard shouts from the driver, who had been travelling down a path, and saw her beloved pet motionless on the ground.
“I was screaming; he was just lying there.
“His eyes were open and I was rubbing him, but blood was coming out of his ear and mouth.
“Peanut didn’t stand a chance. The man didn’t apologise and asked if I wanted to put him in a black bin bag.”
Mr Ralph, 33, from Brentwood, who rushed to the park when he heard, said: “You don’t want to be hearing that; you don’t stuff a dog in a bin bag and chuck it on a skip.
“The drivers are supposed to drive the buggies at walking pace, but our dog landed three metres away on the grass.
“It’s been devastating.”
Ms McCarthy said: “Peanut was really lively, he used to run around with all the other dogs.
“People used to say he thought he was a Great Dane. He wasn’t scared of anything.”
Cllr Melvin Wallace, Havering Council’s cabinet member for culture and community engagement, said: “We were very sorry to hear about the passing of Peanut and that’s why we immediately launched an investigation to find out what happened.
“This was an unfortunate accident, however, we would also ask that all dogs are kept under control, so that incidents like this can never happen again.”