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8 April 2019, 10:10 | Updated: 8 April 2019, 10:13
Tess Daly has spoken of her heartbreak after running over her family dog, Minnie, after the Maltese Shih Tzu escaped the star's Buckinghamshire home when builders left the door open.
Tess, 49, was driving her 4x4 range rover into the family home's drive when Minnie escaped and ran under the wheels of her car giving the presenter no time to react.
She added: “It’s a dog owner’s worst nightmare.”
“It has had a huge effect on the whole family and we are heartbroken at losing Minnie.
“This has, and continues to be, a very emotional time for us all.”
The accident happened last month just before the whole family were due to fly to the Maldives to celebrate Tess's 50th birthday.
While Tess and her husband Vernon Kay, 44, where originally reluctant to go on holiday so soon after the tragedy, they eventually decided to take their two daughters Phoebe, 14, and Amber, nine to cheer them up after the devastating loss.
The family returned from their fortnight break last Friday (April 5).
A source said: “Tess is absolutely beyond heartbroken.
“She and Vernon have drummed it into the girls that they must never, ever let the dogs out and sure enough, the animals always stayed indoors.
“But they have had the builders in, carrying out various bits of repair work in the courtyard. And one of the labourers foolishly left the front door open — and Minnie escaped.
“Tess had been out for the morning and as she drove back in and up the driveway she was too high up in her 4x4 to see Minnie suddenly bolt out.
“It all happened in a flash and there was absolutely nothing she could do. But it was sickening.
“Minnie was like another child to Tess and Vernon and to lose a member of the family in such a tragic, hideous way is understandably devastating.”
Vernon and Tess live with their children in Buckinghamshire, with both stars regularly coming to London for work commitments.
The couple have two one-year-old Shetland ponies, named Honey and Willow, who live in their grounds of their home and a four-year-old Chihuahua called Blue.