OWNERS of a dog hit by a car and left ‘covered in blood’ are demanding new gates at a park.
Six-year-old Airedale terrier Amber was struck by a vehicle in Milton Road and left lying in the street after she was startled by two larger dogs and bolted from Milton Park.
Amber had to undergo an operation to put her hip back in place and spent two nights in specialist animal hospitals. She also had several stitches on her rear legs.
Tom Mailey, of Edgeware Road in Milton, said it was a relief to have Amber back home.
'We have had Amber since she was a puppy, she is part of the family,' the 74-year-old said.
'We are really lucky. It could have been so much worse but I think the car only caught her on the side. If it had been front on she would have been killed.
'She was really badly hurt. She couldn't stand, her hip was out but I wasn't sure if her leg was broken and there was blood everywhere.'
Tom was concerned that something similar could happen again because the gate opposite the mini roundabout at Milton Road and Locksway Road is usually left open.
He said: 'Amber is normally so well behaved. I was just about to put her back on her lead when she was approached by two large dogs who just wanted to play. I think it scared her and she ran out before I had a chance to stop her.
'It could easily happen to another dog though or even a child. A gate that was kept shut when not used, or one that automatically shuts would be better.'
His daughter Helen Mailey, 39, added: 'I know that it will cost money for the gates but if it stops things like this happening in the future like dogs or even children running out into the road then it is worth it.'
But Milton councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson was unsure that new gates were the right solution. 'I think it is possible to look to see if we could have gates like that there but the feedback I get from a lot of parents is that they like the fact that dogs are normally under control in that park and therefore kids can play safely and without fear,' he said.
'The barriers outside the gates of Milton Park are there more to stop children running out.
'Nearby St James’ Park has self-closing gates. The idea is that the park can be used by people who want to let their dogs run around in a secure environment. And then we are looking to create more “dog friendly” parks in the north of the city.’
The incident on April 3 at 5.30pm was reported to police but there were no witnesses.
Any witnesses to the incident have been asked to contact Hampshire police with the crime reference number 44190116970.