KAMLOOPS — The owner of a dog who was struck and killed by a vehicle in north Kamloops Saturday says a witness told her the driver hit her pet on purpose.
Stephenie Mcginty's five year old shepherd-collie-Blue Heeler Lucky wandered off Saturday evening from a gathering of friends above Batchelor Heights.
Mcginty's efforts to track Lucky down became more and more frantic until a social media post let her know the dog had been struck by a car on the interchange near Eighth Street and Ord Road.
A passerby took Lucky to see a veteranarian's office, where the dog was euthanized to relieve his suffering.
"(The passerby) told me thankfully that he stayed with Lucky until it was all over," said Mcginty through tears. "He reassured Lucky that he was a good boy before he passed away. So I appreciate that."
Mcginty was soon contacted by a person who witnessed the collision, and the witness was certain the driver had intentionally hit the animal.
"(The witness) had told me that by no means at all did they slow down. She said that she heard him speed up by the different sound of the muffler. It was very loud, she said, when they sped up. She said they basically gave him nowhere to go," said Mcginty.
The witness described the Jeep as dark-coloured, two-door with a loud exhaust.
Kamloops RCMP confirm the witness has reported the incident.
But Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says there is little police can investigate without more people, including the driver, coming forward to explain what they saw.
"There's not a lot we can do without other witnesses to it, because it's unlikely there was intent to hit the dog. It's important that we prove intent. So we would have to take statements from everybody and just see what other people witnessed."
Shelkie says seeing an animal in the road is unpredictable, and it may have seemed like the driver was trying to hit the dog when actually, he or she was trying to avoid the collision.
"Actually, I've never seen anybody purposely swerve to hit an animal. It could cause a lot of damage to your vehicle."
Mcginty says she knows intent is difficult to prove, and if the driver did intentionally hit Lucky, he or she may never be brought to justice.
But she adds she hopes getting the message out will prevent future animal hit-and-runs.
"I just hope they don't do it again, and if they do, they stop to apologize or do something, not just hit an animal and leave it there. Of course you're upset and you're scared that you hit something, but don't you feel that there are people who are missing that poor animal?"
Shelkie agrees that, regardless of intent, drivers who hit animals should do the humane thing and stop.
"If you do hit an animal, stop. Perhaps the owner is nearby. But at least stop so that information can be shared with other people who are around the area. In this case, somebody stopped to help the dog. If you don't have time to stop and take the dog — or whatever animal you hit — to the vet, at least you can give that person your information to share with them."
"I feel like I would have... not been at peace, but at least known that the monster didn't just drive away and leave him there for dead," said Mcginty.
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