Hold the Village of St. Anne Responsibile
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April 4, earlier this year, I had my dog, Tiggs, outside to go to the bathroom in my front yard. He was on his leash and I ran in to slip my shoes on. The kids across the street had a ball, so of course, being Tiggs, he wanted their ball. Mind you, he has made his way over there to run the fence with their dog, as well as been around the kids before, so he wasn't seeing them as snacks. He was barking and barking, and as I got out from getting my shoes on, I picked up his leash and he slipped his collar. He started running over to the kids, and ball. As he was crossing the street, a St. Anne police officer in the SUV hit him. Tiggs went under the left side of the vehicle, was spun completely around under the tire, and thrown out to the side back into the road.
I watched in complete horror as my dog started having seizures as he ran over to me. His paw/front leg was completely raw to the bone, and was broken at the foot. Tiggs collapsed into me on the grass, as he was gasping to breathe and started to vomit. My neighbor helped me get him into my car, and I took off to the closest emergency clinic.
We didn't make it to the clinic. I held Tiggs in the back seat of my car as he exhaled for the last time. His stomach was covered in black and blue bruises, his paw and leg broken, and I can only imagine the damage to his internal organs. The next day I took him to a crematory with his favorite ball, and he returned home the day after that.
Not once did this officer ask if I needed any help. Not once did this officer ask if there was anything he could do or anyone he could call for me, as I hysterically called someone to rush to come get us to a vet. He said not a word. There was no offering of 'I'm sorry', no mention of 'I didn't see him', nothing. My neighbor helped me load my paralyzed dog into the back seat of my car, while he stood in my yard, texting. Not once did this officer go across the street and check in with the 5 year old girl who saw all of this unfold.
In the months since this, I have chalked it up to circumstance, or a freak accident, or I'm not sure what, just to give myself a false sense of peace of mind. Therapist visits, a PTSD diagnosis, loss of sleep without a pill, flashbacks, the whole bit, but I let it go with a label of 'freak accident.'
Until today. Today, I received a letter stating that I'm at fault for the damages to the car.(Before anyone wants to get on and say, 'well the dog was not on a leash' I'm aware. I get the literal piece, my mindset is on the principal of the matter here.) In speaking with the mayor of St. Anne, I was flat out told 'The village is not paying the $2,260.93. It's your fault, too bad. Get a lawyer if you don't want to pay it.'
This is beyond any amount of money. The police SUV was repaired, and another car bought shortly after as well, where as the attached picture is what I have left of my dog. Devil's advocate here: What if this officer was texting his girlfriend and paying no attention? What if that was someone's human child that was hit and killed? I'd be willing to bet that mother wouldn't be paying liability damages, but because my son has 4 legs and fur, I'm at fault for this 'freak accident.'
Thank you, Village of St. Anne, for the unprofessional manner in which you have handled this situation, as well as your insensitive police officers.
I hope this sheds light on the completely impersonal and strictly political way in which things are handled. I used to be SO proud of my small town because it always seemed as though 'somebody's got your back.' However, in how this situation was dealt with, I could not feel further from that now.
The village of St. Anne should pay for the vehicle repairs, as they have auto insurance for a reason. This was handled completely insensitively, as well as just compassionately wrong.
Fun fact: 2 months ago, the village board approved spending $500 on fish for the ponds behind the park. $500 to restock a pond, but are refusing to fix their own police vehicle that was damaged in an accident that has emotionally damaged several people.
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