Council Tractor Kills Chihuahua in Acton Park

Owner is left shocked, bereft and angry

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Elizabeth Eleftheriou has been left shocked, bereft and angry after an Ealing Council vehicle killed her dog in Acton Park last week.

Elizabeth lives in Acton and has been a dog-owner for around 18 months. Her chihuahua Tequilla was 11 months old.

She was walking Tequilla and her other dog, Honey, A Staffordshire bull terrier in Acton Park last Monday at around 1.30pm. The dogs were not on the lead - as is usual in the park where many people exercise their dogs without incident on a daily basis.

Elizabeth spoke to us about her what happened. "We were about to leave the Park and I had seen a tractor around. Tequilla wasn't far away from me - she didn't see the tractor and neither did I. It just appeared as if from nowhere.

"I didn't actually see what happened as there was a tree blocking my view. Some passers-by did, though. I think the tractor just clipped her neck and killed her outright. I couldn't bring myself to see it.

"According to the passers by - a lady with three kids - Tequilla was quite a gruesome sight. One of the guys from the yard [there is a yard in Acton Park alongside the railway used by Council vehicles for recycling, parking and other purposes] drove up and we told him that one of his blokes had just killed my dog."

"A friend called Ealing Council on my behalf later on and so far I am not very impressed by their response. I have heard nothing from them.

"I don't know how fast the tractor driver was going - it did seem quite fast for a park, but it was probably around 5mph. There were lots of vehicles around but the tractor didn't make much noise so we didn't notice it.

"I believe what happened was the Tequilla ran out from behind a tree. She was knocked from the front. The tractor had huge tyres - over 5ft tall - so there is no way the driver could have seen what happened. It was so quick. I turned round to call Tequilla and the next thing I knew she was dead."

Elizabeth bears no grudge against the tractor driver. "I actually feel very sorry for him. He was terribly upset, too. I actually think there was nothing he could have done. You can't see a little chihuahua if you're driving a great big vehicle like that.

"However, I am cross and upset that my dog had to die that way and I would like people to know about this because it might prevent another accident from happening. The Park is used by many small children - what if one of them was injured by one of these vehicles?"

One of Elizabeth's main concerns is that the tractor driver should not lose his job. However, she is annoyed that no one has made any effort to get in touch with her from Ealing Council.

"You form these enormous attachments for your dogs and then one is taken away from you like this - it is very traumatic and I think someone should make an effort to contact me with an official apology."

We visited the Park today and found plenty of dog walkers around - with dogs all enjoying the open space. However, one dog owner, Debbie, told us that she had noticed council vehicles driving at speed on occasions around the park. "One in particular was driving incredibly fast across the top of the big field. It was horrific. On another occasion I actually stepped onto the path to slow someone down. He was extremely rude to me."

Another dog owner said: "It seems ok most of the time, but you do have to be careful around the yard as some of the drivers are not perhaps as careful as they might be."

A council spokesman said: “We were very sorry to hear about the incident in the park and extend our sympathies to Mrs Eleftheriou.

"Officers contacted her friend, who we understood to be the owner of the dog, and we apologise that, as a result, we have not been in touch with Mrs Eleftheriou sooner. We will be contacting her directly very shortly.


November 13, 2009