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Driver strikes dog, misses owner by inches in Wallingford hit-and-run

A dog named Rex was hit by a car at the end of a driveway on East Main Street, where his owner was also almost hit.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — A dog was hit by a car in Wallingford on Tuesday afternoon, and the car missed the dog's owner by just inches. Police are now seeking help from the public in identifying the driver. Animal advocacy groups are also offering a reward for information.

A dog named Rex was hit by a car at the end of the driveway at 336 East Main Street, where his owner was also almost hit.

"There's no reason they shouldn't have stopped or not saw my father or seen our dog," said Jenine Esposito, who grew up with Rex.

The dog, a family pet for 17 years, was hit and spun around by what the neighbor, who witnessed the incident described as possibly a light brown or beige Ford Taurus wagon.

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"Rex is still in the hospital as we speak and he will not eat," Esposito said. "We don't know right now because it's a slow and steady process. We have to watch him and make sure everything you know is OK."

Desmond's Army and two other animal advocacy groups have come together to offer a $2,200 reward for information leading to the driver responsible.

"The only explanation I guess would be distracted driving," said Justin Hollingsworth, whose driveway is where the dog was hit. "Maybe they were doing something else and not paying attention but that's no excuse." 

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He said Peter Esposito, the dog's owner, was standing a couple of feet from the road while Rex was leashed a the edge of the driveway.

"This car was basically on top of the curb and there was no reason for him [driver] to be that close to us," said Hollingsworth.

He says the car missed Esposito by inches.

"The dog bit him and it was hanging onto his finger and when he got his finger free his finger was covered in blood," noted Hollingsworth, adding the dog likely did so because he was scared. 

RELATED: Puppy stolen from Wallingford pet store

Several residents of East Main Street shared home security camera footage with FOX61, but we were unable to identify a vehicle resembling a light brown or beige Ford Taurus wagon passing by.

Anyone who was driving along East Main Street in Wallingford Tuesday afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., is asked to contact Wallingford police.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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