The driver of a car which unknowingly hit a dog moments after it had already been involved in a hit-and-run was horrified to find out the animal was not a ``pothole'', police said.

Five-year-old miniature schnauzer Zeta was hit by two cars on Stanmore Rd, Christchurch, around 6.40pm yesterday while on a daily walk with owner Debby Lange, 44.

The first smash involved a blue 1984 model Holden Commodore. Police are searching for information on the out of control driver who was behind the wheel when the car skidded over a kerb and hit Zeta, before driving off.

The impact of the collision tore the dog leash from Ms Lange's hand. Zeta, who was terrified and badly injured, limped onto the road and was hit by a second car.


A man read about the incident in media reports and went into the central Christchurch station to explain his side of things, Constable Steve Sibley said.

The man said he thought he had driven over a pothole.

"He's pretty cut up about it. ... Unfortunately [he was] in the wrong place at the wrong time.''

Ms Lange buried Zeta this afternoon.

The devastated owner had carried her beloved pooch to the nearby Sideline Sports Bar after the incident occurred, where the dog was rushed to a vet.

Ms Lange was told to stay at the bar where others consoled her. Shortly afterwards, her friends called to give her the bad news.

"I'm devastated. I'm going to miss her terribly,'' she said.

"I lost a hair salon business in the quakes and have been moved around from house to house. She was what kept me going through it all.''

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the incident.

Mr Sibley can be contacted on 021 1911 385, or calls can be made anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.