Owner’s grief over dog’s death and insurance company charges him with a crime
A heartbroken dog owner whose animal was killed after running in front of a car has hit out at an insurance company for an ‘insensitive and unsympathetic’ response. Sue Kennedy, from Cury near Helston, Cornwall, has lost her beloved Yorkshire terrier Bonnie after an accident outside her home.
She said CornwallLive she received a response from the Animal Friends insurance company which appeared to suggest she had been guilty of an offense under the Road Traffic Act. Sue said: “We are now two weeks away and the pain is still very much.
“Throughout our 35 year marriage we have owned dogs, usually two but sometimes three or four, and anyone who knows us knows that our dogs have been the center of our world. We have always taken out insurance for them, paid for the grooming and kept their vaccinations up to date and so far our dogs have lived to a good age.
“So our world was turned upside down two weeks ago when my husband, following his usual daily routine, carried our young dog Teddy, who is always very excited, on the way from our garden to the car with Bonnie trotting behind him. A cat was walking straight ahead and Bonnie was flying after the cat, straight out of our near the road through our village.
“My husband called her, but was left to watch helplessly as she was hit by a car, which did not stop. The impact killed her instantly and my husband had to pick up her lifeless body while being comforted by our neighbor.
Sue was visiting her daughter in Devon and returned immediately when she heard the news. She added: “We are both heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Bonnie who was a placid and friendly dog who was loved by all who knew her.
“I phoned our insurance company later that day and submitted a claim form for the £200 we thought we were entitled to, which would allow us to arrange a cremation and scatter his ashes during of his favorite walk. Less than a week after the accident, we received a letter from Animal Friends accusing us of committing a criminal offense and denying our claim.
“I went through the Animal Friends complaints process hoping to find they were sympathetic, but the decision to withhold payment has been upheld. I know there will be people who will say that it was our fault, as did the insurance company, but didn’t we deserve to be told in such a cold and insensitive way that we failed to ensure the safety of our beautiful Bonnie.”
The letter received by Sue stated that anyone who allows or compels a dog to be on a designated road is guilty of an offense under the Road Traffic Act 1988. The letter adds that dogs must not be able to escape from property and must wear a collar and leash.
A spokesperson for Animal Friends said: “We are deeply sorry to hear of Bonnie’s tragic passing and understand how devastating it is to lose a pet. The claim outcome letter sent to Mrs. Kennedy n It wasn’t the high standard that we’re usually proud of. Delivery to Animal Friends Insurance.
“We expressed our condolences to Ms. Kennedy in our subsequent communications. However, we understand how upsetting this particular letter Ms. Kennedy received could have been in an already difficult time.”
Sue set up a fundraiser to pay for Bonnie’s cremation. You can donate here.
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