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Trailhound dog Poppy hit by train in Rushenden while walking with owner Darren Clark

By Hayley Robinson

A family pet is fighting for life after being hit by a train.

Darren Clark was walking Poppy on disused land in Rushenden with his other dog Holly when they ran off after being spooked by motorbikes.

It was while he was using his binoculars to look for the trailhounds he noticed a train had stopped about 150 yards away the Kingsferry bridge.

Poppy suffered a smashed pelvis, a thorax injury where her lungs were leaking air into her chest cavity and her tail was damaged

He said: “Initially I took no notice of it but when there was no sign of them after 40 minutes I had another look and saw the British Transport Police in their high-vis jackets. It was then I got a call from them – they’d got my details off the tag on her collar.”

When he arrived he found the three-year-old family pet laying between the tracks. She had suffered an range of injuries including a smashed pelvis, a thorax injury where her lungs were leaking air into her chest cavity and a damaged tail.

Poppy is being treated by vets at Newnham Court Veterinary Hospital in Maidstone.

Darren Clark with Poppy and Holly

Mr Clark, of Penny Cress Road, Minster, said: “We’ve been to see Poppy everyday. I’m amazed she’s still alive. She’s had about five different operations to sort her out and she’s had her tail removed but despite everything she was up and walking last Tuesday, and she returned home this week.

“She’s not out of the woods yet though.

“I may have to make the decision to let her go but she’s fought so hard for her life I need to give her that chance.”

After leaving Poppy at the vets Mr Clark returned to the Island to help his wife Katie, 39, find their other dog, Holly. Relatives also joined the search.

Holly was eventually found, uninjured, in the Rushenden at about 7am the following day.

Mr Clark, who works as a communications engineer on the railway, said: “There’s been lots of tears over both of them."

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