Sunday drive turned dangerous for terrier
April 3, 2003
The guardian angel of a tiny Jack Russell terrier named Crackerjack came in the form of a 73-year-old Carson City dog lover.
Jean Bader said Wednesday when she turned onto Division Street from King Street on Sunday, she was shocked to see the dog somehow attached to the outside of a red Yugo as the car cruised down the road.
“It was awful to see,” she said. “I didn’t really care how he was tied to the car; I only knew the car was going faster than he could run. All I could think was I had to find some way to stop this woman.”
For three blocks, she watched in horror as the little dog tried to keep up with the car, which was going about 30 mph.
“He was running behind the car as fast as he could go but he couldn’t keep his feet in front of him. They were being destroyed,” the retired registered nurse said.
Bader’s attempts to alert the driver, later identified as Karen Daigle Singh, by honking her horn failed, she said.
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“The only thing that saved my heart and mind was that I knew a stop sign was coming up at Fifth Street.”
With that in mind, Bader sped around the Yugo on the two-lane residential road and blocked its path at the intersection of Fifth and Division streets.
“(Singh) jumped out of her car and swore at me and I said ‘Your dog is behind your car,” she said.
In the excitement, Bader said, she forgot to put her car in park, and as the vehicle slowly continued to the sidewalk she found herself pulled to the ground with it.
At that point, Maryjane Robinette happened on the scene.
Seeing Bader on the ground and her car in the intersection in front of Singh’s, Robinette assumed there was an accident and called 911.
When firefighters arrived, they found Singh on the curb, covered in blood and cradling Crackerjack.
Bader said after Singh helped her to her feet, she unlatched the dog from his leash and sat on the roadside crying.
Singh was eventually arrested on charges of drunken driving, felony animal cruelty and having an open container of alcohol in the car. A hearing for Singh has been set for April 14. It is unknown if Crackerjack will be returned to his owner, said Chief Deputy Steve Schuette of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department.
Bader said she doesn’t believe Singh intended to hurt her dog.
“I think it was a terrible mistake,” she said, adding she thought perhaps the dog had jumped out of the window without his owner knowing.
Crackerjack suffered severe injuries to his feet. The front pads were worn to the bone and the rear pads nearly as far, authorities said. He will be held at the Carson-Tahoe Veterinary Hospital until his bandages can be removed, Schuette said.
Bader’s husband of 50 years, Lowell “Merv” Bader, said it was just like his wife to get involved.
“We’re dog lovers, and knowing my wife it didn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “She would even sacrifice her own car — and apparently she did — to save that little dog.”
“I’m just happy to know he’s going to be OK,” she said.