'She was on her phone': Albany woman describes watching hit-&-run driver strike her puppy
"I was trying to pull my puppy out of the way and was yelling at her and stuff like that and she just didn't pay any attention," Brooke Nash told KATU as she described watching a distracted hit-and-run driver strike her puppy.
Police are still looking for the suspect.
Nash said the 5-month-old dog, Penny, was on a leash when she was hit in the driveway of a fast food restaurant in Albany.
"It was pretty traumatic at first," Nash said while on a break from her job in Salem Tuesday afternoon. "I couldn't really handle it very well. I was crying and whatnot."
It was clear Nash's mind was on Penny who at the time was home with Brooke's mother, Gwen Halsey.
"Her hip has to be supported," Halsey explained to a KATU crew while hoisting the puppy in her living room. She said Penny is not supposed to walk without being held up by a sling under her belly.
"She's got some pretty severe fractures to her pelvis and whatnot," Nash said. "She ended up having to go in for surgery three days in a row."
Around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 Nash said she and Penny were out for a walk.
"She had a little light on her so that people could see her 'cause it was night time," Nash explained.
After leaving a nearby pet supply store Nash said they approached the driveway of the A&W-KFC restaurant on Pacific Boulevard Southeast.
"And a lady had pulled out like she was gonna cross or go and I went to go walk in front of her car to get around her and she was on her phone and wasn't paying any attention and just hit my dog on a leash," Nash said, "and almost drove away but I yelled at her and she pulled over."
Nash said a crowd formed and the driver, who was carrying a passenger, offered to take her and Penny to a nearby veterinary clinic.
"But at that point," Nash said, "I had already called my mother and I didn't exactly trust her driving."
Nash said the driver told her she'd meet her at the clinic but she never showed up.
Nash and officers described the suspect as a woman in her 40s, standing 5-feet-4-inches tall with an average build and short, blonde, curly hair. They said she drove a black, mid-1990s Honda Civic.
In a Facebook post, Albany police said, "The restaurant does not have video available for review."
"I just hope that she comes forward and tries to help," Nash said. "At least own up to it, you know."
A family member is offering $1,000 to anyone with information leading to a conviction. If you can help you're asked to email Officer Nate Ard at email@example.com or call Albany police.
Nash is hopeful about Penny's prognosis.
“There’s a 78 percent chance of her making it out fine and being fine," Nash said. "There’s about a 20 to 30 percent chance of her having some sort of lameness issue.”
She launched a GoFundMe page where you can donate money to help pay for Penny's veterinary bills, which so far total more than $10,000.