A Surrey woman hopes her dog’s death can help save the lives of other furry friends.
Michelle Parry’s six-year-old Jack Russell named Penny was killed in a roll-over crash on the Port Mann Bridge in the Lower Mainland on Sunday afternoon.
Police say the dog was “ejected” from the vehicle.
Though Parry has harnesses that she uses to buckle both of her dogs into her car, her dad was watching Penny that day while her family made a trip to the U.S.
At the time of the crash, Penny was wearing her harness but it wasn’t fastened into her father’s pickup truck.
“Originally, we didn’t know about the dog seatbelt,” Parry told the Surrey Now-Leader. “Then a border guard really scared us (about two years ago), saying how dogs could really be injured. So we have seatbelt for both our dogs. I guess a lot of people don’t know they should be clipping their dogs in.”
She now has Clix Car Safe harnesses for both of her Jack Russells.
“Because my dad’s truck, it was just a two-seater, she wasn’t clipped in. But she was wearing it,” she continued, her voice breaking. “I don’t know for sure if that would’ve saved her or not.”
“My dad is just so broken up over it. My dad, it’s almost his dog too. He babysits her so much.”Parry decided to share Penny’s story in the hopes that other dog owners would read of her fate and make the decision to get seatbelts for their animals.
“If anything good came of this, it would be that other people learn that it can help in accidents to have a seatbelt on your dog.”
Luckily, said Parry, her father and uncle, who were in the vehicle when the crash happened, are going to be OK.
Parry said even her dad isn’t sure what happened to cause the crash, only that “there was impact from behind” and that her father’s truck landed on its side.
“My dad was stuck in the vehicle for about an hour,” she said, explaining he was on the bottom of the rolled over pickup truck. “My uncle got out right away because he was on the side that was up.”
Later, her father received a call from a police officer while he was in hospital that Penny had died.
“My dad is still kind of recovering too,” said Parry. “He had a cracked rib and a sprained wrist. And my uncle is still in the hospital. Apparently he has a few more broken ribs.”
She’s thankful her father and uncle survived the crash.
“I’m so happy my dad walked away from it. But it’s definitely still difficult because we both love her so much.”
The Parry family had two Jack Russells. Penny, and her younger sister Chloe, who was with the family when Penny died.
Parry described Penny as “stubborn” and always playing with a ball.
“We played fetch with her constantly,” she said.
Penny’s younger sister Chloe was sort of “Penny’s side kick,” said Parry.
“Penny was the leader,” she chuckled. “She was a really happy dog. They would chase squirrels in our yard. They were our life.”