Puppy being trained as service dog hit, killed by school bus

Dog was training to be comfort dog for girl with autism, family says

By Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Members of a Jacksonville family are heartbroken, telling News4Jax a school bus ran over the puppy they were training as a service dog.

Cheyanne Harrington, who is raising her four siblings, adopted a Siberian husky named Kane to be a comfort dog for her younger sister who has autism.

Harrington said the dog was hit after going outside to greet her younger sister who was coming home from a summer program at Westview K-8 School. She said the dog usually waits in front of the bus to make sure oncoming cars don't hit the little girl as she's stepping off.

 "He would come out of the house. He would follow me," Harrington said . "The bus stops right here. He'd come right to the blue square. He would wait."

A witness said as the bus driver was pulling away Tuesday, she ran over the dog, killing him.

TV"Heartbroken. Sad. We are missing a piece of our family," Harrington said.

 An initial report provided to the family shows the bus that was involved is owned and operated by transportation company First Student Inc.

 Lena, a woman who was visiting her father, said she saw the dog being run over.

"The dog was hit twice. The front wheel and the back wheel hit the dog," Lena said.

In addition to losing their pet, the Harrington family say they are losing the comfort Kane brought to their sister.

"Like when the kids would lose a shoe, he would find the shoe. If Sarah was having a bad dream one night, he would sit beside her and make sure she was OK," Harrington said. "All the kids were crying in the street. It was just traumatic for all of us. I don't think we'll ever recover."

News4Jax requested comment from First Student Inc. A statement from a spokesperson reads:

"The police investigated the report and found that the action of the driver was not deliberate. The driver is receiving additional training as we continue to investigate the incident."

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