Have you ever seen a cat or dog on or beside the road as you drove past? Did you wonder if the pet was injured or dead? Did you stop to check? Or did you just assume that it was dead?
As you may know, I'm the Irreverent Veterinarian. I speak my mind and give you my honest opinion. I don't sweet talk you or sugar coat the truth. I tell it like it is to you, the drug companies, pet product manufacturers, breeders and pet owners. Some might say that I'm truthful to a fault. I've had some pet owners and breeders get really angry. It is hard hearing the truth.
This topic isn't so controversial as it is thought provoking.
I know pet lovers that drive by an injured pet and never even give it a thought. I also know a cat lover named Christine that stops to check on every single cat she sees by the road. She can't just assume that it is dead because it bothers her to think of that cat suffering by the road.
Most of the time these injured pets are dead – but not always. Christine has saved 3 cats in the past few years. And this gives her (and me) so much pleasure. You can't save them all but saving a few can really make you feel good.
My Final Thoughts on Pets on the Highway
If you see a pet by the highway, slow down and take a look. Don't just assume that they are dead. I hate to think of a pet laying there suffering for hours. It may be that they have fatal injuries but let's not prolong the suffering. At the very least, contact animal control. If you have the time you can transport the injured pet to a local vet clinic. Generally they will try to see if the pet has a collar or microchip to identify an owner. These owners could be really worried about their pets. Generally if there is no owner found and the pet is deemed to be suffering the pet will be euthanized unless you want to take financial responsibility and try to treat the animal. Be careful of traffic. Watch where you park and take precautions so you don't get hit by another car!
If you do try to rescue or take pets off the road, always heed these warnings.
Be careful of the injured animal. Dogs and cats in pain can lash out. You know NOTHING about this animal. It could be aggressive or lash out in pain by biting or scratching. Use gloves, a blanket or towel. See some tips – go to: Transporting an Injured Dog and Transporting an Injured Cat.
If you can't do anything (for example, you are on your way to work or you don't have time to stop), call the local animal control or non-emergency police to get some help to that animal.
No animal should suffer.
The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to PetPlace.com. The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another point of view. All opinions are those of the Politically Incorrect Vet and not the views of PetPlace.com and are not endorsed by PetPlace.com.