PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A man is searching for the driver who killed his dog and nearly ran him over too during a Christmas evening walk.
Daryl Staggs says he was walking his dog on watts landing road in Hampstead Christmas night when a driver in a blue truck drove over the center line, hitting, and killing the dog. And Staggs says the truck came within 6 inches of hitting him as well.
"I was walking on the left-hand side of the road, when I heard a vehicle approaching from behind me. I turned to look, and I noticed that truck coming across the center line over toward where I was walking my dog at."
Daryl Staggs says he quickly stepped backwards into a ditch, hurting his knee, but his dog, at the end of a four-foot leash was hit.
"First thing I do was jump out of the ditch and ran to my dog, and I noticed there was no blood coming out of his mouth or anything, so I thought he might actually live,” Staggs said. “So I picked him up and ran the rest of the way home with him. About the time I got him home, inside the door there, was about the time he looked at me and took his last breath."
Staggs rescued Ratt two and a half years ago and in that short time he says the ten-pound dog quickly became his best friend.
"I've never had any children, so that dog was like the only child I've ever had,” Staggs explained. “He was my baby boy. He was like my son."
Staggs says he immediately called the police. He says a Surf City police officer was the first to arrive.
"He said that there was nothing he could do about it, because it was just a dog. And to me it's not just a dog. That was the only friend I had really. He was my buddy,” Staggs said.
He says about two hours later Pender County Sheriff's deputies arrived and also told him there was nothing they could do. But now Staggs says the deputies have no record of ever having responded.
We spoke to Captain Billy Sanders of the Pender County Sheriff's office who says they did respond but were not able to make a report at the time. He says deputies asked Staggs to call back the next day.
Sanders could not verify whether or not Staggs called back but they did say they would be more than happy to assist him in filing a report.
Staggs says he just wants an apology and an explanation. He asks whoever is responsible to do the right thing, and come forward.