‘Racers’ urged to cut speed after dog is hit

Jim Cowie and Iona are still haunted by the memories of Sunday night's road traffic collision
Jim Cowie and Iona are still haunted by the memories of Sunday night's road traffic collision

A dog owner had a near miss and his beloved pet was lucky to be alive after a car sped past and clipped the canine while she was on the lead.

Nine-year-old West Highland terrier Iona was sent flying after being struck by the dark red vehicle, which continued to speed along Larbert’s Bellsdyke Road, just before the Antonshill Roundabout, as if nothing had happened.

Seconds before the incident, which happened at around 9.30pm on Sunday, Jim Cowie (57) was at the end of the path at Mount Green which emerges onto Bellsdyke Road, having just put Iona on a lead and was bending down to do the same for 12-year-old Westie Angus.

He felt Iona pull on the lead – she stretched only a matter of inches out onto the road, but it was enough for the passing car to hit her a glancing blow and jerk Jim’s arm.

Jim said: “I saw her lying there and the way her head was leaning to one side, I thought her neck was broken. I think it was a glancing blow, not a full impact.”

He quickly lifted her up and got Angus and the wounded Westie back to his house in nearby Dunrobin Avenue to call the emergency vets in Grahams Road, Falkirk.

“I didn’t think I was going to get Iona back again,” said Jim. “The vet told me he wouldn’t have known she had been hit by a car if I hadn’t told him. He said he would have thought she’d had some kind of seizure.”

After being kept in overnight for observation, Iona was assessed as well enough to return home on Monday, but she has been quiet and withdrawn – not her usual boisterous self.

Jim and wife Sylvia thanked the emergency vet and Iona’s own vet A & G at Bonnybridge for all they did for their dog.

Sylvia said: “This incident has caused distress and trauma to our little Iona and we have wept buckets since Sunday evening. For a driver to hit an animal and keep driving and not stop is a cowardly act.

“This could have been so much worse. The driver could have wiped out Iona, Angus and my husband. Our two-year-old granddaughter Mila also sometimes goes out with my husband and the dogs – it could just as easily have been her.

“Some of the drivers on that road, with the speeds they do, have absolutely no consideration for other motorists or pedestrians. Someone will die on that road if action isn’t taken.

“That road which leads up to Antonshill Roundabout requires permanent speed cameras. At night we have seen – and heard – the cars racing and doing the circuit up Bellsdyke Road, down the by-pass to Carronshore, along Carronshore Main Street and back up to Antonshill Roundabout.”

The matter has been reported to Police Scotland.

A spokesperson said: “The incident was reported to police around 10.45pm on Sunday, August 6, when a car was involved in a collision with a dog on Bellsdyke Road and inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 4359 of August 6.”

Police are also aware of the speeding issues on the road.

The spokesperson added: “Speeding in residential areas is completely unacceptable and we use a number of tactics to disrupt and deter this type of behaviour. Local officers regularly target road traffic offending, including speeding, and also work with our Safety Camera Unit and our partners in local government to ensure all measures, including traffic calming and local patrols, are put in place to curtail speeding.

“Nevertheless if anyone is aware of speeding in their local area, please do make police aware and we will take steps to ensure those who speed are held to account.”