THANKS to a quick thinking and caring elderly couple, a labrador left for dead after a hit and run on Margaret St is alive today.
Herriot House Veterinary Surgery veterinarian Peter Lyons said it was an "unfortunate incident" where a tradesman had backed into the gate at the dog's home and broke it.
"While they were fussing about trying to get the gate fixed the dog escaped," he said.
"Living on Margaret St you don't survive very long on the road there."
Mr Lyons said Sam, a gorgeous 11-year-old much-loved family pet, slipped out of the gate and was hit near Queens Park by a vehicle, which witnesses described as a four-wheel-drive with a bull bar.
"Unfortunately the people who hit him didn't stop, which causes a fair bit more anguish to the owners, who would like to think the person in the car would be kind enough to stop and apologise," Mr Lyons said.
"The person who's hit him has continued on and an elderly couple stopped their car and picked up the big labrador and were nice enough to bring him in.
"The people who owned him found out pretty quickly (what had happened) but the dog ended up in the right place anyway because he's a client here."
Mr Lyons said the family were in "a bit of a state" and Sam had been very lucky.
He said he suspected the dog had been hit from the side because he didn't break any bones and was just very badly bruised.
Sam also had a large cut on his leg which would need suturing.
"He's very lucky, really," he said.
"He was in a coma, just sort of flat on his side doing nothing, just concussed, and knocked out.
"He couldn't do anything. Twenty-four hours later he's sitting up."
Mr Lyons said that because of the concussion Sam could be at the vets for up to a week.
"He's not even walking yet, he can sit up with difficulty so it'll probably be another three or four days before he can stand up," he said.
"Because he's a big dog he's got to be able to walk before he can go home."
Mr Lyons said over the past year he had treated quite a few animals that had been hurt in hit and runs.
However, he admitted there were fewer injured animals than in past years.
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