OLYMPIA - Jennifer Turin, 57, began to sob uncontrollably when she talked about the hit-and-run driver who struck and killed her German shepherd dog, Holly, as she was walking her pet on a leash in the Goodwill parking lot on Cooper Point Road in west Olympia on Saturday afternoon.
“She had the purest and gentlest soul,” Turin said of Holly. “She was so gentle and kind.”
Olympia police said Monday that they are looking for the driver of the vehicle, who fled with a passenger Saturday after hitting the dog about 3 p.m., dragging her about 1,500 feet. Holly was abandoned when she came free from the vehicle in an alley behind the Goodwill store, Olympia police Sgt. Paul Johnson said.
Johnson described the hit-and-run vehicle as a late ’90s or early ’00s, silver, American-made sedan with oxidized or peeling paint. Witnesses saw two males in the vehicle, he added.
The vehicle never slowed or stopped and fled after the dog was left in the alley, Johnson said.
“It was horrible,” Turin said, sobbing. “She was hit so hard that she was thrown in the air.”
The vehicle was estimated as driving between 40 and 50 miles per hour when it struck the dog, Johnson said. Turin said she was walking Holly on a leash as she exited the hardware store, when she heard the roar of a loud engine and saw the silver car headed straight for her. She said she waved her hands, but the car did not stop or slow down.
“At the last moment, I dropped the leash and ran away,” she said. “ A couple of witnesses thought I’d been hit.”
Holly was a rescue dog who had been saved from a puppy mill in Washington, Turin said.
Turin thanked all of the witnesses who stopped what they were doing and helped, including a Goodwill employee named Cooper who brought blankets for Holly and helped find a board for the dog that was used as a makeshift stretcher to load Holly, who was still alive, into a car to take her to a veterinary hospital. Turin added that she does not know whether the hit-and-run driver cut the leash from the car behind the Goodwill, or whether the dog became dislodged from the vehicle on its own.
Olympia police Cmdr. Tor Bjornstad, who was off duty and happened to be in the parking lot, also helped, Turin said. Another passer-by, Fran Kersch, drove Holly and Turin to the Steamboat Island Animal Hospital, where Holly was euthanized.
Turin’s friend Catherine Golding, who was consoling Turin on Monday, said that Holly went everywhere with Turin.
Witnesses described the incident as happening so fast it was difficult to get a license plate number or a description of the car, Johnson said.
An officer was trying to get surveillance camera footage from stores in the Goodwill complex, he added.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Olympia police at 360-753-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org