Pet dog killed by joyriders in Dagenham park
- Credit: Archant
A couple have been left distraught after joyriders ran over and killed their beloved dog while out walking in a country park.
Maisie, a 15-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross was out on her evening stroll across Eastbrookend Country Park with her owner Pete Burgess, 62, when a Suzuki jeep came roaring towards them.
Mr Burgess had to dive into a ditch to avoid being struck, injuring his arm in the process, but the vehicle ploughed into Maisie and careered further into the park.
Mr Burgess did not see the driver or how many people were in the car, because his only thought was for his pet – but they are known to have set the jeep ablaze before fleeing the scene.
His wife Kath, 60, a volunteer at Battersea Dogs Home, was left traumatised by the incident. “I’m absolutely devastated,” she said.
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“I wish the joyriders were dead. To see your husband standing by the side of the road with a dead dog in his hands is just horrible.
“She was a wonderful animal and I hope something is done, but I’m sure the ba*****s will get away with having their fun. I really hope they were hurt in the process.”
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The couple, who live in Rush Green, adopted Maisie as a rescue dog five years ago and she soon became a key part of the family.
A retired engineer, Mr Burgess rushed her to the vets but she was already dead, leaving him in a state of shock.
“I just heard this engine roaring up the hill,” he said. “It wasn’t a conscious thought - instinct took over and I dived to safety.
“It was just pure reaction. He was swerving all over the place, I just had to get out the way.
“The adrenaline kicked in, but at the time I was more concerned about the dog.”
Fire crews from Dagenham put out the blazing car and police also attended.
Officers say they are investigating, but no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information should call police on 101.