Family blames Florence One school bus driver for dog’s death

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Stan Alexander is devastated after losing his therapy dog he had for more than three years.

The family wants answers and they want to know why the school bus driver dropped the dog off along a busy highway instead of their home.

“I think she should be punished because he’s never coming back and that was my heart and soul,” said dog owner, Stan Alexander.

‘Dodger’, the dog followed Stan’s granddaughter to the bus stop which was right outside the home on Moore Rd in Florence County.

“Whenever she went to get on the bus, he [Stan] calls for him to come back and by then the dog boarded the bus,” said family member, Robert Hutchinson.

When Stan realized his dog was gone, he quickly asked family members to help find him.

“I called the school to see if the dog had boarded the bus, and the bus transportation people wouldn’t tell me anything. I tried to call everyone at one time,” said Stan’s daughter, Crystal Alexander.

The little girl told the bus driver the dog was inside the bus and asked if she could let him back out near the home, but the family tells News13 the driver dropped him off on a busy highway about a mile from the home.

“We were told when the dog was let off the bus, he tried to get back on and it was too dark for them to see that and whenever she pulled away the dog ran up under the back tire and pieces everywhere,” said Hutchinson.

The principal came out to help the family look for the pup, but the outcome wasn’t what they expected.

“This being Christmas time, it’s a senseless action that could’ve been easily avoided and we had to have the principal of the school come out and tell us our dog is dead,” said Hutchinson.

The district released a statement: “On Friday our director of transportation was notified that a student’s dog had followed them on to one of our school buses. Once the bus driver realized the dog was on the bus, it was removed. When the school personnel was notified that the dog was let out at a location other than the student’s home, the assistant principal went to help find the dog. The assistant principal located the dog and notified the student’s parents that it was deceased. The Transportation and Human Resources Departments are working jointly to investigate the incident. Appropriate personnel actions will be taken.”

The family tells News13 they have not heard back from the district since the statement and they’re looking to file legal action towards the bus driver.

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