APPALLED onlookers watched in horror as a dog was mowed down in a hit-and-run before dying in the arms of a good samaritan desperatly trying to save it.

Eyewitnesses claim the car mounted the pavement in Old Leigh High Street before running over the pooch on Sunday afternoon.

The dog was said to be yelping out in pain as the vehicle fled the scene.

Residents living nearby came out to offer their support to two sisters, who were walking the dog before it was struck. 

Police were called to the scene and shut the road for around 30 minutes to carry out an investigation. 

A worried resident of High Street said the two sisters who were with the dog were "inconsolable" after the incident.

She said: “I was in the kitchen and I heard yelping and sounds of girls in distress.

"The little dog was barking in pain and was obviously in agony.

“It all happened so quick and the dog was yelping.

"I heard someone say they are driving away and the car left the scene.

“It had hit the dog and was then disappearing. I went over with a blanket as other neighbours did too."

She added: “It died in my neighbours arms.

"It’s all so so sad. The two girls were inconsolable and clearly in shock too.

“There were people gathering around and everyone was very concerned about it.”

The resident, who asked not to be named, claims the incident highlights how tight the roads and pavements are in the town, and why walkers and pet owners need to be given more space to stay safe.

Eyewitness Sara Welton, who runs Sara’s Tea Garden in High Street, said: “It’s dreadful and the poor dog didn’t stand any chance against a car at all.

“The car mounted the pavement and ran over the dog, it’s a horrendous thing to happen.

"The two girls with it were distraught as anyone would be if this happened.

“Police attended and shut the road for about 30 minutes and are treating it as a hit-and-run.”

She added everyone in the town was "shocked" by what had happened.

Call Essex Police on 101 with any information.