Monday, 15 October 2007

Thinking of a Skoda?

One of the first emails of the morning made me very sad...

Dear Beverley,
Something happened on Thursday that we are terribly upset about and hope that there might be others out there who would feel the same.
On Thursday's I stop at Tescos on the way home from work to do the weekly shop. As our home is about a mile away, it is my Husband's practice (he is retired) to walk our Westie, Beinn, up to meet me to help with the boxes and then we all go home in the car with the shopping.
Yesterday he set off as usual at about 5PM and was nearly there when he saw a little dog (no collar and probably about 3 to 4 months old) running loose in the busy road. It was nearly run over by a bus before it spotted Beinn and ran over to him to say hello, as dogs do.
My Husband picked the little dog up so that he would not be in any further danger and, with the little dog under one arm and Beinn on the lead in the other, looked for help.
He went into the entrance of a Skoda showroom (the nearest place) and an assistant there agreed to take the dog from him, keep it safe and call the RSPCA.
My husband, thinking that he had done his good deed for the day, continued with Beinn in the direction of Tescos. Hardly had he set on his way when he heard a screech of brakes and saw the rapidly slowing traffic. The little dog was out on the road again and had been fatally hit by a car.
He doubled back to the Skoda sales place and asked about what had happened, to be told by the Manager that the dog had been put out of the showroom. Quite apart from a total disregard for the fate of the dog, this person also seemed not to care about the hazard to motorists. It transpired that he did not like dogs and said that the person who ageed to help "was with a client".
A passing woman picked the dog up from the road (at risk to herself) but the little animal died before any help could be organised. She was very distressed, as was my husband.
The dog was in good condition and clearly not a stray. Yes, it should have had a collar on and yes, the principle cause of its death was that it was out unattended. However, the Manager of that Showroom had the power to save its life and yet threw it out to its death.
We are deeply horrified and this is why we need to share our experience with you.
Yours sincerely,
Gottfried and Marilyn Steigmann

I have asked for the address of the Skoda dealership. I will publish as soon as I have it. I will also look up and publish the details of Skoda's national office. I have contacted their press office and shown them the email.
I don't think I'd want my brand represented by someone with such a scant regard for life - both human and canine.

Before you leave the blog, please also click here to read of another very matter that needs your support. Two Poodles escaped from a garden after the fence was damaged by cows - the dogs were recovered but the owner was later arrested and the dogs seized... sounds like madness, but it's happening now and you might be able to help by just sending an email!

UPDATE: Click here for the official Skoda response and click here for the Steigmann's response to the response.

Here's a picture of Lucky Clover, see Rosie's comment


Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

That is utterly horrendous. I drive a Skoda, but certainly wouldn't buy one from that dealership. If you can post the address and email details we can start a campaign to encourage dog-lovers never to use that dealership again. It won't change what happened but would seem appropriate.

In comparison, my Skoda dealer was very good when car problems nearly delayed my last holiday with Prince - even offering to waive the usual 'no dogs in courtesy cars' rule and lend me a dog guard for it.

Rosie said...

Oh how sad. Poor little thing! I agree they should be named and shamed.

We've had a similar situation this weekend. My sis rescued a very old crossbreed that was running in a main road on Saturday morning. She picked him up and put him in the boot then drove to us for advice. We advised her to take him to a vet to see if he was chipped and then report him at the police station. The vet was great. The dog (now called Lucky Clover by her kids!) has a severe heart murmur and very bad teeth - he also appears to be stone deaf.

When she went to the police station she spoke to someone through an intercom who said there was no-one there who could help and she advised my sis to "just let him go" as the dog warden couldn't be contacted till Monday.

What sort of advice is that? On talking to someone at a local rescue who take in strays in conjuction with the local dog warden, this advice is commonly given if the warden is not on duty - even though they know she is willing to take in any strays.

Quite apart from the risk of death or injury to the poor dog there's the serious risk of him causing an accident - unbeleivable.

Lucky Clover is staying with my sis for the time being and has now been reported to a different police station and his details posted on


Beverley Cuddy said...

I really do despair - what a society we live in - where life is treated as just so disposable.

Melisa said...

I am speechless. I just can't understand this total disregard for the life of an innocent little creature like that.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is the garage and the manager should be named and shamed. And he should be sacked. I have got stronger words for people like that but Im not going to say them in public but I am sure you can guess.

Chapstaff said...

It isn't Skoda's fault, but I wonder if they know they employ such a cruel heartless person as manager of one of their dealerships.
It is a well known fact that cruelty to animals goes hand in hand with cruelty to people.

If they didn't know before - I bet they do now

Flowerpot said...

What a truly terrible story. And Rosie's comment also - I can't believe how people could be utterly thoughtless, uncaring and cruel.

Anonymous said...

This is just awful what a nasty nasty man :(

re: rosies comment, I have picked up a stray before and been given the same response even though I was more than willing to keep the dog until the dog warden came on duty !!

:( dogs ... if we dont speak out - who will

Lorraine said...

This total disregard for life angers me. The Skoda employee needs to realise the impact their action has had on those who witnessed what happened & the owners who lost their pet.

The Gentleman who handed the pup in must be heartbroken.

If the police cannot provide the manpower to deal with lost Dogs (let's face it they struggle if you are being burgled in your own home !!) Maybe they should deploy the support officers instead of them wandering aimlessly about the streets.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at this sort of act by a human being

liz said...

well skoda you certainly deserve the jobs worth hat..
how cruel and inhumaine you are..
surely to god it would not have hindered the day to day sales etc of skoda to at least look after this poor dog untill the rspca came..

Anonymous said...

That person probably regrets that incident. But that was really heartless to do that all they had to do was make a phone call.

Sign of the times or people just dont care anymore.

On a BRIGHTER note not al of mankind are like that.

Marc Mustard, Skoda UK said...


Hello. My name is Marc Mustard and I am a press officer for Skoda UK.

Firstly, I'd like to say how upset we all are at the fate of this poor dog. Any driver who has ever hit an animal will know how upsetting this can be.

I have contacted the dealership outside which the incident took place and have been assured that they are equally distressed by the situation.

The manager, a dog lover himself, told me that the dog ran out through an open door moments after being dropped off by Mr Steigmann. It certainly was not 'put out of the showroom'.

If the staff there had had the opportunity to aid the dog, they certainly would have.

Once again, I would like to reassure all users of this website that Skoda UK and the dealer involved are most upset by this occurence.

Thank you for reading.

Marc Mustard, Skoda UK

Anonymous said...

Just seen the Skoda comment...yeah right..we all believe that don't we.

Shame the Manager can't escape out the door and get run over. Oops.

Anonymous said...

Im also a dog lover, but why is it the garages fault? Surely the gentleman who found the dog, being also a dog lover should have taken charge of the situation, and rang the rspca himself?
To blame the staff of SKODA, because a stray dog died is going a bit far. How would we feel if someone dumped a stray dog on us, then walked away?
Id like to see a comment from a member of the dealership, or its manager on here, at least then its not from some spin doctor.
It is a real shame that this happened, any death is sad, but im afraid, branding them callous dog killers, is rather silly.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Please see the latest blog! Some facts that may have become clouded...

This was a wriggly little puppy. No road sense. Not some street smart stray grumpy dog.
The retired man who found the friendly little pup was on foot walking another dog. It had already narrowly missed being hit by a bus.

The dog had no collar. He had no spare lead on him. He carried the dog into the dealership.
It was the nearest place open and help was freely offered - the dog was not dumped.
Had help not been offered. He'd have struggled on with the dog in his arms for the mile or so he had left to walk. He was midway between home and Tesco where he was going to meet his wife who was in the car.
The poor old bloke has had enough grief watching the little pup die and hearing the thud.
I think it's unfair now to blame him for accepting what appeared to be a genuine offer of help!
They could so easily have a) said no b) ran after him and given it back if they discovered someone had a problem with it.

Sue Jones said...

Yes I think we should do everything in our power to name and shame this person. Whether he likes or dislikes dogs he has no right to have done this to a poor defenceless animal. What is wrong with this society?, does no one care about anything apart from themselves today. I wonder if he would have done this with a infant/toddler, or what about if someone had opened the door and just let his child walk out onto the street to it's death, NO there what be an uproar!. I think he should a hefty fine slapped on him and be suspended from work, or better stil SACKED!!, he needs teaching a lesson in my book.

Anonymous said...

Its a sad event though perhaps no suprise when we treat other humans so badly.
The little dog meant nothing to the dealer and he will not loose sleep over its death. Only the caring people suffer, lets hope that there is a better life for that little pup now.

Craig Brown said...

This is very sad, but I doubt anything will happen to the person responsible because he/she is just going to say "it escaped and im not trained to deal with dogs"

Bet if the guy who took the dog in was a potential customer thinking of placing an order it wouldnt have happened!

Sorry but I trust car salesmen about as much as id trust my dogs to look after a big bag of sausages!

Judgement said...

I suggest when we get the address of that dealership we send them all our used poop scoop bags. I certainly will!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am a dog lover! My parents have had dogs all my life, and id have one now if i wasn't married.
Why should the guy at skoda help?
Does it matter if he likes dogs or not, hes at work, trying to make a living, just like the rest of us. My husband was attacked by a dog 15years ago in a park, when he was playing football, did he go around sending hate mail, bags of dog mess in the post, or getting people sacked from jobs? No, we just got on with it like you have to. My husband still has the scars, and has nightmares about the attack. What your going to say is, oh my dog wouldnt attack someone, but hey, they do attack people. Maybe, he, like me has had a bad experience with MANS BEST FRIEND, and didnt want to get involved! If we go to my parents, the dog has to be locked away, as it send my husband into panic attacks to be near one. My husband is 6ft 2" ex military man and had to give it up after the attack.
As i said, why should he? The gentleman who passed the buck, sorry dog, should also take some of the blame for creating a bigger problem.
Why didnt he ask to use the phone and ring the rspca himself, instead of leaving it with others? Im sure theres more to this than just blaming SKODA, and its staff.
Its very sad that we can sit here point fingers and blame people we dont know, or situations we are not involved in. Im truely sorry that a dog has been killed, but i also have to see it from the eyes that my husband uses.

Vicky, Ian, Chance and Bess said...

I am so appalled on reading this horrific story - I hope that some apology for his action with be forthcoming from this Manager. My husband and 2 dogs will certainly not consider trading in our car now for a Skoda.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Really sorry to hear anonymous's husband's experience - but I don't think we can imagine that was the problem at the Skoda garage.
We're talking about a very small, friendly puppy and Skoda's press office haven't yet attempted to play the 'canine phobic' card, perhaps they will after reading your post though!
If someone had a morbid fear of dogs then they should have run after the old guy and given him the dog back - or simply not offered to help in the first place!
This garage was on a busy dual carriagway. Sending a daft pup with no road sense out onto that road was potentially a multi-car pile up.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad sorry but are you all really that gullible, could it not be possible that some facts have been exaggerated by the gentleman, due to guilt? He could have just walked into the dealership, demanding help with the dog, placed it on the floor, unrestrained, with the front doors to the dealership open, therefore allowing the dog to escape, but now wants some one else to blame!! Knowing where this dealership is the gentleman only had to walk next door to get to Tesco, not a mile as stated previously. Aren’t you victimising Skoda and it staff without knowing the facts or the individual involved. I love and adore dogs but love humans more and although humans can be very cruel, I like to give them the benefit of doubt first, before condemning them.