You See an Injured Animal - What Should You Do?by Wendy Irene
One morning last school year after dashing around the house trying to feed the kids, get their outdoor gear on, and convincing my two year old that she does in fact have to come with me to drop my son off at school and she cannot stay home--you know how the morning rush goes--we were a few minutes behind schedule.
One the way we saw a poor little kitty on the side of the road, alive and injured. She must have been hit by a car. Probably someone on their way to work or maybe another parent trying to get the kids to school on time. My heart broke for the poor thing and in that split second with the stream of cars, albeit slow moving, I didn’t know what to do and failed to make a quick decision. I kept going.
To this day I do not feel good about my choice to keep driving. Immediately I knew it was not the right choice for me. Not one that I personally felt OK with. Two cars behind me someone pulled over and I was incredibly grateful the person made that decision.
No one wants to be late for circle time at school and have to wait outside the door until circle time is over, but we are talking about the life of someone’s beloved pet. If my son was late to school because we stopped and helped an injured animal, I’m more than OK with that. In fact, I think that life lesson is 100 times more important than being to school on time.
Looking back, part of the reason I believe I did not pull over is because I didn’t know what I would do at that point. I am not personally comfortable picking up an injured animal, putting it in my car and driving it somewhere. In a perfect world there would be someone you could call to help, but who???
When I lived in the city of Vancouver I very rarely, if ever, saw injured animals on the side of the road. Now that I live in the country, sadly it is a regular occurrence. There are often deer on the side of the road and other wildlife that have been hit. From what I am told, Idaho state law says if you hit an animal you are responsible for moving it to the side of the road so that it is out of the way for other cars.
Fortunately, this has not happened to me up until now, but it could. Accidents happen. What if you hit a deer and it is still alive, injured on the road? The thought of dragging an injured deer to the side of the road scares me. I have heard how dangerous a kicking, injured deer can be. Is there someone you can call for help?
My guess is that 911 does not want you clogging the lines with phone calls to help with injured animals. I want to be prepared for the next time I find myself in a similar situation, so I can make an informed decision and do my best to help. Is there a place you can call for help if you see an injured dog or cat? What about if you hit wildlife and it needs to be moved? Is it crazy to want a state emergency line for animals???
Please tell me - What would you do?