MONTVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A story from Montville, N.J. has pet owners feeling some pain. A dog became the victim of a hit-and-run.

“She was a part of my life. She was like a person. I loved her, and she loved me,” George Korduba told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.

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Korduba, 74, is both heartbroken and furious over the death of his 12-year-old pug Zhaba. She was killed on a quiet residential street in what cops are calling, ‘a most appalling way.’

“This was a horrific and senseless act,” Captain Andrew Caggiano said.

Korduba was out for a walk with Zhaba on Ward Witty Drive on Saturday around 4 p.m. She was on a leash when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver who cops say was riding on a dirt bike at a high rate of speed.

Korduba said he could hear the bike barreling down on him.

“I turned around and saw the dirt bike coming. I tried to wave him off. i tried to let him know I was in the middle of the street. Hit the dog, didn’t slow down,” he said.

He rode off and left little Zhaba dying at the scene, despite Korduba’s frantic efforts to save her.

“She bled out in my arms as I was walking up the street,” he said.

Friends and residents on the block said they were rattled by the news.

“Dogs are family, so really it’s like losing one of the kids,” Giovanni Nazareno said.

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Police said they don’t have any surveillance video of the hit-and-run from the neighborhood, and that things like this just don’t happen here.

They described the driver as a teenager or young man on a yellow dirt bike.

Now, police are asking for anyone who saw what happened to come forward.

“Love of my life. As much as a four legged thing could be the love of your life, she was the love of my life,” Korduba said.

Korduba is now receiving condolence cards in the mail from strangers.

“She lived a very loved life with you and knew how much you loved her,” one card read,

He’s gotten sympathetic hugs from neighbors, and experiencing the aching and emptiness of losing a beloved pet in such a heartless manner.

Police said they are starting to receive phone calls on possible leads.


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