A Westward Ho! couple have warned other dog users to be vigilant when taking their pets on a journey after a terrible accident led to their Jack Russell pup being dragged behind their car for about a mile. Thankfully, worried bystanders at a bus stop in N

A Westward Ho! couple have warned other dog users to be vigilant when taking their pets on a journey after a terrible accident led to their Jack Russell pup being dragged behind their car for about a mile.Thankfully, worried bystanders at a bus stop in Northam were able to alert them before tragedy occurred and although he suffered a broken leg, 10-month-old Jack is now expected to make a full recovery after prompt treatment at Witten Lodge Vets.Michael and Carol Olcot, with their dogs Jessica and Jack, had set off from their Westward Ho! home on a short trip to Bideford. Mr Olcot secured Jack's lead to the front seat, as he always does, but no one noticed the little dog dart out of the passenger door before they drove away.The Olcots were distraught when they discovered what had happened and rushed him to the Northam-based vets. "They now want to prevent similar disasters by calling on dog owners to be far more aware when taking their pets in cars and to buy a dog safety harness or guard to stop them from getting out."We first want to thank the good people of Northam who stopped me and saved my poor dog from worse injury," said Mr Olcot."It was a tragic accident but people have got to be more aware than we were, of how quick small dogs can be and how you have to be very, very careful - I'd recommend a harness for all dogs regardless of size."Henry Hartley, veterinary surgeon and partner at Witten Lodge, said the pup was very badly bruised and in a state of severe shock when he was brought in by his owners. He also had a great deal of grazing and a fractured femur. "He was seriously injured and in a lot of pain and we were concerned that he might die from his injuries, but by the following morning he had made a really good recovery," he said."The fact he is a small, compact young dog probably helped him."The bruising had been the main danger, not only is it very painful, but also prone to secondary infection or clotting and we could not be certain of the extent of potential internal injuries."While we may all do it, there are risks to having dogs loose in a car. If they are on the seats they should be in a harness and secure, or behind a guard in the boot. Not only can they run around if loose, distracting the driver, but if one has to break suddenly they be injured or in turn injure someone in the car."Jack had an operation to put pins in his leg and he was expected to be allowed home after the weekend.