Long Island family offers reward to find driver who hit their dog

A Cold Spring Harbor family is offering a $1,000 reward to find the driver who hit their Black Labrador.

Video Transcript


- A family on Long Island wants help tracking down a driver who hit their beloved dog and they just took off. The dog was left badly injured on the side of the road. It's OK now, but the family wants the driver held accountable. Long Island reporter Kristin Thorne has the story.

- It's OK. It's OK, Leia. We're here, baby girl.

KRISTIN THORNE: It just breaks your heart to see any dog like this. Imagine if it was yours.

DANIEL BATISTA: It's caused a lot of stress and heartache in our family.

KRISTIN THORNE: Leia, a 95 pound black lab rescue, got out of her house on Turkey Lane in Cold Spring Harbor Sunday night. A car, believed to be this one caught on Ring video, hit her. The driver didn't stop. The Batista family is offering a $1,000 reward to find the person.

DANIEL BATISTA: Legally, you're supposed to knock on the door. Leia had tags. You saw where she went. But instead, they left her out in the cold to die in the snow. And that's just-- I have no respect for that.

KRISTIN THORNE: Witnesses say they saw the car hit Leia right here in the middle of the street. She managed to drag herself up a neighbor's driveway. People spent about an hour and a half looking for her. They found her right over here.

LOUISA MELENDEZ: She was excited to see everybody, but she looked a little nervous and I felt really bad. And it made me sad to look at her eyes, because she looked so upset.

KRISTIN THORNE: Leia, who's seven years old, is recovering at a local veterinary hospital. She can't walk or urinate on her own.

DANIEL BATISTA: The impact was directly to her rear hind. We're praying that she pulls through.

KRISTIN THORNE: Meanwhile, neighbors are rallying around Leia, and plan to demand that the town of Huntington put more stop signs on Turkey lane where they say people often speed.

JANET PIERCE: We already have, I think, 85 households just in like our little community. That have committed that they will sign the petition.

KRISTIN THORNE: A spokesperson for the town of Huntington says its traffic safety department plans to collect new data on the roadway to determine the best course of action.