Alessio Pappalardo and his partner were driving along the busy Tiburtina road in Rome when they saw the car in front strike the poor dog.
Both of them were shocked, but they couldn't believe what happened next. Rather than pull over and help, the driver of a small grey panda sped off into the night, leaving the injured dog lying in a nearby ditch.
Alessio comes to the rescue
Recalling the disturbing incident, Alessio Pappalardo said:
"We realised that a Panda in front of us had hit him and so we turned around a little further and we backed down to go to the rescue of the animal which, in the meantime, had taken refuge behind the guardrail.”
Alessio went on to say:
“He also had a string around his neck because, probably, he had been abandoned and tied in those parts. After having seen it with the lights of the cars, it seemed to us that it had only one broken paw."
The good Samaritan called an animal rescue service who promptly arrived on the scene. They managed to lift the dog to safety, and it's now recovering in a local shelter.
Italy has strict laws to protect animals
Police have failed to identify the driver of the grey Panda. However, the entire rescue was caught on camera, and the footage soon went viral. Hopefully, this will encourage anybody with information about the incident to come forward. In Italian law, the punishment for maltreatment of animals can result in up to 18 months imprisonment or a fine of 30,000 euros.
In the meantime, we’re sending out our best wishes to this brave little dog. We hope this rescue pooch finds a loving home very soon. After all, it certainly deserves one!