A HIT and run driver has left their dog behind the wheel to “take the rap” after crashing into a wall and fleeing the scene.
Officers from Essex Police say they found the “lovely” animal sitting inside a van in Braintree while investigating a fail to stop collision.
The dog had been abandoned by its owner after the crash on Saturday night which destroyed a brick wall.
However, the pooch was not discovered until the following morning, having been left overnight.
Images taken at the scene show the tan coloured dog sporting a black colour sat behind the wheel while looking mournfully at the camera.
Another shows the destruction left by the impact, with bricks strewn across a driveway.
Writing on Facebook about the discovery today Essex Police – Braintree Division said: “Yesterday officers came across a fail to stop road collision in Braintree where a brick wall had been damaged by a vehicle overnight.
“The officers were a little shocked by the driver.
“The lovely dog was left in the vehicle overnight to take the rap while their human did a runner.
“The dog has been taken to a vet to be checked over etc and the vehicle was seized. Please don’t try this at home.”
The heartbreaking tale has prompted an emotional response from social media users.
Jason Brown wrote: “Unbelievable- hope it’s chipped.”
Kerry Saunders added: “Hope he finds a nice new home.”
And Georgette Turnbull said: “Oh bless – who would do that? Hope he wasn’t stolen.”
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “The dog remains at the vets while enquiries are made by the council to locate the owner, and enquiries are still ongoing into the collision.”