An Auckland nurse has praised the actions of a Waikato cop who helped care for a dog injured in a serious car crash.
Melinda Copley, a heart failure nurse specialist at Auckland Hospital, was travelling along State Highway 2 at Maramarua with her cardiologist partner Rob Doughty on Sunday afternoon when they came across the crash at the intersection with Kopuku Rd.
The pair immediately got into work mode and helped the two injured drivers of the vehicles involved.
Copley said she got a space blanket and wrapped it around a 60-year-old man who was trapped by his arm under his vehicle.
They also helped get an intravenous-line into the woman driver of the other vehicle.
It wasn't until she heard Bella, a Huntaway cross, yelp that she realised the dog was lying in pain on its own in the middle of the road.
She raced over and put a blanket under her and lifted her out of the way of attending emergency services staff.
She then sat with her as Counties Manukau road policing Constable Tim Wells and the rest of the emergency crews carried out their work in tending to the injured and organising traffic.
However, Copley said she was floored by the care and compassion Wells showed toward the dog - who had an injured back and paw and a broken leg - who they both knew was in a serious state.
"He kept coming over and saying 'is there anything you need' and I'm saying 'no' and then even though I said no, he brought me something to kneel on and he chased up the vet."
After the vet arrived, Copley said she decided to take a photo of how well the dog was being cared for while it lay injured as she was too upset to remain sitting with her.
The photo shows the vet tending to Bella along with Doughty and Wells.
"When the vet got there I was really upset ... I just went and grabbed my phone because I thought it was such a beautiful scene with the people caring for Bella. She was a beautiful dog and she was obviously really frightened.
"She had de-gloved one of her paws and she had hurt her back and [Wells] was telling her 'you're ok, you're ok' and just reassuring her. It was really lovely.
"His compassion and caring were above and beyond the call of duty," she said.
Copley said Bella had serious injuries and she'd feared she might have also suffered nerve damage.
"I tell you what, I cried a river over her, I really did. I sobbed like a baby. She was a beautiful dog and she knew that I was helping her so she just let me help."
Wells today confirmed that Bella was put down yesterday due to the severity of her injuries.
Wells told the Herald he didn't think twice about helping reassure Bella once the injured drivers had been airlifted for treatment.
"It was lucky, we did have a few hands on deck that day so it did make things a little bit easier.
"By the time the Westpac [rescue helicopter] had arrived, the drivers were in the best possible hands they could be so I thought I would go and offer whatever help and support I could."
Wells is a dog owner himself, he rescued a black labrador, Kara, from the SPCA nearly five years ago after it had been abandoned on Raglan Beach.
"The thing that got to me is that animals are so helpless. They rely on humans for everything and when a poor dog has been thrown out of a car during a crash, I can understand, by all means, that human life takes precedence but if you've got the time and the hands on deck to try and help the animals a little bit then that's exactly what I did."
He praised Copley for her actions as she sat in the hot sun for about an hour until a local vet arrived.
"She was just sitting on the roadside and it was a hot day and she would have been cooking in the sun, so I thought I would go and get her something to sit on.
"She was absolutely amazing to be able to sit with Bella the whole time and keep her comforted."
Bella was eventually given pain relief once she was transported to a vet clinic in nearby Maramarua.
"Unfortunately it's not a happy end of it all though."
Bella's owner, a man in his 60s, was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition. However, his status today remains unclear.
The woman driver of the second car was airlifted to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition.