Pet owners seek compensation after dog killed by city bus

One of the owners of a Kitchener dog killed by a city bus believes transit officials should compensate his wife for the pet's cremation and the mental duress she endured.

One of the owners of a Kitchener dog that was killed when it ran in front of a city bus believes transit officials should pay for the pet's cremation and also offer compensation to his wife, Heather Gray, for the mental duress she suffered.

Wayne Shephard said it cost $370 to cremate their five-and-a-half year old Morkie. He also wants an apology from Grand River Transit.

"Heather's worse than I am. I'm upset but she's really taking this hard," said Shephard. "She seen the actual killing of Abby under the tires and everything."

Last Friday, Abby was outside whe she darted across the stree toward a neighbour and was fatally struck by a city bus. (Courtesy Wayne Shephard)

Last Friday, Abby was outside with Gray when the unleashed dog darted across Century Hill Drive toward a neighbour. That's when it was fatally struck by the bus.

"[Heather] just picked it up in a blanket so I had to take it to the vet's place and I had to get arrangements for cremation," Shephard said.

Eric Gillespie, director of transit services for Waterloo Region, said the bus driver believed the dog has cleared the full front of the vehicle. He claimed he did not hear or feel anything and continued to drive on his route.

Gillespie added the bus was travelling 44 km/hr, which was under the posted speed limit.

"It's very unfortunate that our operator was not aware that he’d made contact. Had he known he would have stopped. He felt very badly when he did find out that did happen," Gillespie said.

But Shephard disputes that claim. He said that he and a few other neighbours stopped the bus when it came around again on its route and confronted the driver.

Shephard claims the driver said he knew he had hit something, thought it might have been a rabbit, but didn't know what it was and decided to continue on.

"If he did see something, which he did, but he didn't realize what it was, why wouldn't you stop or try to stop? He didn't do any of that," said Shephard.

"I accept the fact that she did run out in front of the bus. I accept that. And Heather does too," added Shephard. "It's unfortunate she did. But it's that part that we can't accept — if the driver knew that he hit something but he didn't know what it was. I said to him 'Well what if it had been a kid'. And I got no response from that driver."

Gillespie said an investigation has been launched into the incident.