Couple fined while caring for dying puppy

Gary and Lorna Killen are angry after Wigan Council are refusing to rescind a parking ticket issued after the couple parked in a loading bay as they rushed to the vets to try and save the life of their puppy

Gary and Lorna Killen are angry after Wigan Council are refusing to rescind a parking ticket issued after the couple parked in a loading bay as they rushed to the vets to try and save the life of their puppy

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COUNCIL chiefs in Wigan have rescinded a parking ticket issued to a couple who were taking their dying puppy to the vets.

Gary and Lorna Killen were shocked to be hit with a £35 fine after dashing to an animal welfare centre.

Despite explaining to the the authority the circumstance, officials refused to backdown until the Wigan Evening Post highlighted the incident.

The Killens left their car in a loading bay on Elliott Street in November.

However, the town hall agreed to rescind the £35 fine just a few hours after we got in touch to ask why the ticket had not been waived given the circumstances.

Mr Killen, of Haweswater Avenue, was booked by a parking enforcement officer after being unable to find anywhere else to park while visiting Tyldesley Veterinary Clinic with a newborn puppy which had a hole in its stomach.

The 58-year-old only spent around 10 minutes in the surgery as there was nothing that could be done for the dog and it had to be put to sleep, but returned to find the officer placing a ticket on his vehicle’s windscreen.

Mr Killen’s wife Lorna said she was grateful to Wigan Council for cancelling the ticket but thought the authority had been shamed into action by the possibility of negative media attention.

Mrs Killen, 48, said: “They are showing a bit of compassion and it’s a gesture of goodwill they are actually doing it.

“However, I think it’s probably the fact they didn’t want the publicity of being named and shamed. They didn’t want to get a bad name.

“The money in itself is not an issue, it was the principle of everything, how insensitively it was dealt with.

“I was very upset about the puppy because it was in agony and at first that was just dismissed. Would they have given the same response if it was one of their animals?

“It is now dealt with, at least. This also proves you shouldn’t let things drop. If you feel so strongly about something, you have to do something about it.”

Mr and Mrs Killen sent a letter explaining the incident and were also supported by the vet’s clinic. Mr Killen dashed to the vet when the couple’s pet dog went into labour on November 16.

He insists leaving the car anywhere else would have a required a longer journey around Tyldesley’s one-way system.

The council said our inquiry about the parking ticket had brought new information about the case to light, prompting the change of heart.

Emma Barton, assistant director for economic development, said: “The council has received additional information with regards to the circumstances surrounding this particular appeal and on review of the case we have cancelled the penalty charge notice. A letter has been sent to Mr Killen to confirm this.”