Woman sues veteran after she hits, kills his beloved dog with her car

30-year Marine veteran and retired Colonel Ken Herrington and his dog, a 4-year-old, 100 pound German Shepherd named Corporal Dakota Rambo Higgins. (NBC News)
30-year Marine veteran and retired Colonel Ken Herrington and his dog, a 4-year-old, 100 pound German Shepherd named Corporal Dakota Rambo Higgins. (NBC News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) A Kentucky woman who hit and killed a man’s dog is now claiming he owes her nearly $1,000.

The dog was a 4-year-old, 100 pound German Shepherd named Corporal Dakota Rambo Higgins. Its owner is 30-year Marine veteran and retired Colonel Ken Herrington.

Their bond was so close, Herrington called Dakota a therapy dog.

“”He was just a good friend, a son I never had,” he said.

The accident happened October 29, 2015. The driver, Maggie Cassaro, is the only witness to the actual accident.

“It jolts the car. There’s a noise. The car jolts,” Cassaro said, replaying the accident. “I pulled over. It was a dog. I petted its head.”

Herrington said he was training Dakota in his front yard when the dog ran after a deer.

“You can’t stop a hunting dog going 30 miles an hour who’s after his prey,” Herrington said.

Nine weeks after the accident, Cassaro sent a letter to Herrington asking for $901.60 to repair her car.

“It’s very easy to frame me as the bad person here because I am asking for damages,” Cassaro said.

“I was absolutely astonished,” Herrington said. “I was stunned that a lady who killed my dog that she may not have even known she had killed would ask me for damages for her vehicle.”

Louisville’s animal ordinance says, “Any person owning, controlling, or having care or custody of any animal shall be liable for any personal injury caused by such animal, and for any damage caused by such animal to public or private property.”

“He is at fault. He broke three laws that day,” Cassaro said. “If we don’t uphold the laws then we’re going to lose respect in the community.”

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