Dog owner's road safety plea after pet is left for dead following hit-and-run
A traumatised dog owner who watched in horror as her beloved pet collie was thrown into the air in a hit-and-run has called for action before someone is killed on a dangerous Co Armagh road.
Rosemary Brady (55), who lives in a bungalow along Aghory Road near Richhill, was on a routine walk with four-year-old Alfie last Wednesday night when a speeding car missed her by inches.
"Alfie's lead was flung from my hand and he was thrown at least 20 yards down the road," she said.
"He was lifted into clean air and I was just screaming: 'Please, someone help me'."
Aware of the dangers of walking along the stretch of road - which has no footpath - Rosemary waited until there was no traffic before she left her garden.
"Alfie was going for a pee and I was holding his lead, but the car came from nowhere and, oh my God, it was horrible," she said.
"One minute he was right beside me and the next he was lying on down the road and looked like someone had taken a meat cleaver to him.
"He was in a bad way. I thought he was dead and just kept thinking that it could have so easily been me lying there."
The distraught dog lover was furious when she realised the driver of the "light blue or green" Ford car had failed to stop.
"For all they knew they had hit a child and they just drove on," she said.
The impact caused parts to fall off the car and Rosemary collected them as she waited for help to arrive.
"I managed to get him to a vet and was told he had a 50/50 chance of making it," she said.
"I have passed on the car parts to the police."
Alfie, who has received 10 stitches on his side and more internal stitches, is now at home resting, but Rosemary hasn't stopped fearing the worst.
"I was told that the injury was never going to kill him - the biggest risk of death is shock," she said.
"His heart rate was at 120 following the collision and although it has fallen a bit since then, it needs to come down a bit more."
Rosemary, who was recently advised by a vet to put her "big docile dog" on a diet, believes the extra pounds he was packing saved his life.
"I have no doubt about it, I know it did," she said.
"I don't know if it was a man or woman driving that car, but the speed they were doing was ridiculous."
Alfie's doting owner has been sleeping on the sofa with him to ensure he doesn't injure himself during the night and now plans to launch a petition demanding action.
Rosemary, who praised her neighbours for their support following the terrifying ordeal, is now relying on them to sign her petition which she will launch today.
"My neighbour is petrified taking his four-year-old daughter out.
"There are street lights along the road, but cars just go so fast and it's only a matter of time before someone is killed," she said.
"They need to reduce the speed limit and put in speed bumps, because this is a built-up area with new houses being developed - there's always children around," she said.
"It would only take a second for something even more horrendous to happen."