A GRIEVING mum has appealed for help to trace a motorist who drove off after killing her family’s pet dog.
Victoria Duffy says her young children are heartbroken after Otto, their four year-old Bichon Frise, was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver.
The 30-year beauty therapist who lives in Thornhill said: "I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t stop. We’d have all been full of sympathy for the driver. They couldn’t be blamed for hitting a dog which ran out in front of them. My only thought is they might have been drinking or have no insurance."
The collision happened on Stotfield Street in Lossiemouth at about 6pm on Saturday, April 28. Witnesses stated that the vehicle involved was a white Volkswagen truck or a similar type of model.
Victoria was visiting her partner Ian Sellar’s home when the accident took place.
She said: "We were moving stuff from the back garden when a man came around and asked if we had a little white dog. I said we did, but he was in the garden. Then I went to check and our two black labs Marley and Isla were there, but Otto wasn’t. Then I went inside and called out his name. He always used to come immediately, but this time he didn’t. And then the man said that there had been an accident. He said that he had been travelling behind the driver who hit Otto and had seen it all happen. The man stated that the driver braked straight afterwards, looked in their rear view mirror, then just drove off again."
Victoria continued: "I ran to the scene where a group of people had already gathered. Otto didn’t have a mark on him. I thought at first he must simply have been stunned."
Victoria says going back to the house and breaking the news to her children – Morgan (9) and Mason (5) was one of the hardest things she has ever had to do. What’s more, over the five months that the couple have been together, Ian’s children – Lola (8), Flo (6) and Baylee (2) – had also grown extremely close to the dog.
Victoria, who works at Pink The Nail Bar in Elgin, said: "Mason was saying that Otto was just asleep, and I had to explain to them all that he was not going to wake up. It was horrible, absolutely horrible."
Investigating officer PC Vicki Marshall of the Lossiemouth Community Policing Team said: "This has been a deeply distressing incident for the dog’s owner. It is understood that there were witnesses and people did stop to help however the dog owner was too upset to take their details. A couple in a Fiat 500 were among the potential witnesses. I would be grateful if those who witnessed the incident or stopped to help could contact us on 101. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all motorists of their responsibilities to stop and report incidents which causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property or animal."
Victoria says it’s still a mystery how Otto managed to get out of the garden.
She added: "He was a lovely dog. He really was. And he was clever. You’d ask him to give you a high five and he’s stand on his hind legs and stick a paw out. I can’t believe he’s gone."
She added that she and the children have now buried Otto in the woods by Lossiemouth.
Victoria said: "We decided to bury him there because it where we always used to go for walks. Even our Labs are missing him. You can see it when it’s time to go outside and there are just the two of them instead of three."
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference 3665 of April 28.
Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.