Dog owner’s heartbreak over hit and run Harley

Beloved Irish Jack Russell Harley and, below, owner Charlie Tinker and Rachel Ibbotson outside Charlie's Bar on Otley Road where the accident happened.
Beloved Irish Jack Russell Harley and, below, owner Charlie Tinker and Rachel Ibbotson outside Charlie's Bar on Otley Road where the accident happened.
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A Harrogate couple watched in horror as a speeding car hit and killed their beloved Jack Russell before driving off without stopping to check on the dog.

Charlie Tinker, landlord of Charlie’s Bar on Harrogate’s Otley Road, was out walking his seven year old Irish Jack Russell Harley with girlfriend Rachel Ibbotson, when he was hit and killed on the road outside the pub.

It was about 5.45pm on Thursday, March 14 when the couple were returning from their regular walk around the block and Harley was on an extendable lead, Charlie said.

He said: “All I remember is Rachel screaming ‘Harley’.

“I turned round and saw Harley roll over once in the road. His collar and lead had snapped.

“I saw the brake lights of the car come on briefly, but then the car drove off.”

Charlie ran to pick up Harley as he lay flinching in the road, and took him straight to the nearby Ashdale Veterinary Clinic.

“He looked fine, there wasn’t a mark on him,” he added.

But with no vets in the clinic that late in the day they set off to another surgery in town, but Harley died in the car before they they could make it to a vet.

“I just knew he was gone,” Charlie added.

Harley spent his life in the pub, and was well loved by the regulars.

“I got Harley for the pub and I’d had him since he was eight weeks old.

“He’s been through thick and thin with me. He is irreplacable. I don’t want to get another dog, there’s no way I can fill that gap.”

“All the regulars say the place is not the same without him.”

Although Harley knew the road outside his home well, he was a timid dog and did not usually run into the road, Charlie said.

““I think something must have got his attention on the other side of the road,” Rachel said.

“But he was scared of cats so wouldn’t have run after one. I don’t think we will ever know what happened,” Charlie added.

Now Charlie and Rachel want the driver to come forward for their peace of mind.

Although they contacted police, without a descriptionof the car or any CCTV, officers told Charlie it would be impossible to trace the driver.

“I have hit birds when I have been driving, but I’ve stopped to find them,” said Charlie.

“Cars zoom up this road, and that could have been a child,

“It’s natural to brake when you’ve hit something int he car.

“It’s below the belt to not even stop to check.”