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Ran over a dog what should I do?

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Old 03-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Unhappy Ran over a dog what should I do?

I don't know where else to turn to. I hope I post this on the right place. I am feeling overwhelmingly depress right now. Here's the story yesterday night I went to pick up my mother at the bus stop and went to buy some take out. It was around 7:20 p.m. and it was really dark out. I was waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and was going around 25-30 miles per hour. When suddendly a small dog came across my path. I had no time to see it, it came right when I was going through the road. Now this road is the main street and its always extremely busy. Now I did stop and wanted to see what I could do. But my mother kept insisting that we have to keep going nothing I could do, lets just go home. So I did, I haven't had a wink of sleep since last night. I have been crying all day. As far as I know the dog was alone, had no collars or tags from the brief second I saw it. My aunt passed through there later that evening and nothing was there. Either the owners picked it up or maybe it survived I have no clue. But I feel guilty and have been extremely sadden by this event. I have two dogs of my own and I had one killed by a car and another almost killed. Any advice on how to cope with this. I haven't been able to do my college assignments or anything just thinking about this.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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IMHO, I think you might call either the Police or the local Humane Society or Animal Control authorities in your area. You will feel better for having done something, I think.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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I know the police won't do anything since, I try that before with my old dog that got ran over. He just said to get rid of it. I will try to locate the local humane society. Thank you for replying.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:48 PM   #4
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oh no I know you didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident. A horrible one if that, but an accident. Maybe if you knew knew the owners or find it appropiate to do so, offer to pay for a new dog from a shelter. Forgive youself. Don't turn to food, and although this was tragic, accidents happen.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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Default My own belief

I don't know if this would comfort you, but I really believe that everything that happens to us is a teacher. The dog had a purpose, and then his purpose was done. His death, in my opinion, was not an accident, but just another event that happened in a very intricate divine chaos. This event caused your heart to open even more, made you feel compassion. Most of us who have been driving a while have had something similar, or near misses, if you had swerved to miss it you may have been killed. Try if you can to let it go, and know that your intent was not to harm the dog, it just wasn't your fault. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad, it shows that you value life in all it's forms-how delightful.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
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glitterducky- Unfortunetly I don't know the owners it was by itself at night. I would pay for the dog in a heartbeat if I knew who the owners were or where it came from. I know I must forgive myself but it will take me some time to get over it.

Therese50-Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. My mother said something similiar to those lines. In her country people believed when a dog died it was for a person. Thank you so much. I know this will be hard to surpass.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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I think you should report it, it was an accident and the owners of this dog are wondering what happened to him/her. If you report it to the police they may be able to locate the owner. The dog may be microchipped which will locate the owner, or it may be taken to the humane society, the owners will be able to locate their pet there. Do you know if the dog was injured or killed ? If it were my dog I would want to know .Above all remember it was an accident.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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Awww sorry to hear that nana. I'd second what others have said, maybe try calling the humane society and letting them know what happened. They might also have some more information for you...especially if someone else found the dog, they may have ended up calling them.

Its easier said than done, but just try and remember its not your fault. The dog ran out into the street, it was dark out, its not like you could have done anything. It could have happened to anybody, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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volunteer at your local animal shelter for a day or week. Helping other creatures might help you bring your life back into balance.

However, this stuff does happen all the time, and there really was nothing you could do.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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bargoo-I looked back briefly and the dog was just on the floor. People were avoiding it. My mother wouldn't let me out of the car. I don't think there is a local humane society in my town, I try looking. I will try to look again. Thank you.

Razz44-I know it could have happened to anyone. The circumstances weren't with me that day. But it is hard to cope with this. Again I will try to report it to locate the local humane society.

kelly315-Yea I know this kind of stuff happens all the time. Still you never thinks it will happen to you personally. Thank you very much. Letting this out is helping a lot.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana64 View Post
I was waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and was going around 25-30 miles per hour. When suddendly a small dog came across my path.
This doesn't make any sense. If you are waiting for the light to turn green then you are stopped. How could you be going 25-30 mph??? And you said the dog ran across your path right when you went through the intersection? If a car is stopped at a stop light it would be awfully hard to get up to 30 mph from a dead stop to the middle of the intersection.

Not disputing you but it doesn't add up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana64 View Post
Now I did stop and wanted to see what I could do. But my mother kept insisting that we have to keep going nothing I could do, lets just go home. So I did, I haven't had a wink of sleep since last night. .
Your first instinct was to stop and give aid to the dog. But you listened to your Mother and drove on. I'm very sorry but your Mother was wrong. There was a lot you could have done. You could have made sure the dog was OK or if it was hurt you could have taken it to a animal hospital or called the police or at the very least direct traffic around the animal so it didn't get hit again.

I don't mean to make you feel worse than you already do but the reason you are feeling guilty is because you didn't follow your instinct and you listened to someone else. I would have pulled over and me and my Mother would have just have to have had words ... later AFTER I checked on the dog.

What's done is done and you cannot turn back the clock but you CAN try and do the right thing now. Try and find out what happened to that dog and make sure the owners know what happened.

You could offer to pay the vet bill if there is one or offer to buy a new dog if the dog is dead.

And I agree with others, it was an accident. You didn't mean to do it so don't beat yourself up about it.

good luck!
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:38 PM   #12
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This may sound cruel, but under most circumstances, I would not offer to pay vet bills or for a new pet. The fault here is not with the motorist, but with the owner who allowed the dog to run. A dog, especially a small dog (but even a St. Bernard) is like a toddler - you do not allow them to wander without close human adult supervision. Allowing a dog to run, is asking for such an accident.

Rewarding or minimizing the consequences for the owner is not the appropriate response. Allowing the dog to escape may have been an accident, or it could have been gross negligence. However, either way, it's not your responsibility to determine which it was. Experience can be a harsh teacher, but it's not the motorists' responsibility when a dog allowed to run free is hurt or killed - it's the owner's.

If you feel you actually did something wrong, and could have prevented or ameliorated the accident or injury, at most you're 50% responsible, and I wouldn't consider offering any more. Is that cruel? Absolutely not, it's taking no more responsibility than you owe.

It's very possible, unfortuantely that the little dog was dumped. Most small dogs do not (or should not) have any opportunity to roam. Unfortunately, many dogs, but especially the small dog strays are premeditated dumps (it's amazing how many small dogs end up as "strays" in animal shelters, and they're much less frequently claimed by owners as larger dogs).

We lived next door to a family (the parents were very well educated, with excellent jobs) who let their small dogs roam. A yorkie, and a miniature poodle, and even after the yorkie was killed, they continued to allow the poodle to roam (the poor dog was also eventually killed by a car). This was in a very small town, without much heavy traffic, but a dog that small can be killed even at 5 miles an hour.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
This may sound cruel, but under most circumstances, I would not offer to pay vet bills or for a new pet. The fault here is not with the motorist, but with the owner who allowed the dog to run. A dog, especially a small dog (but even a St. Bernard) is like a toddler - you do not allow them to wander without close human adult supervision. Allowing a dog to run, is asking for such an accident.
.............

If you feel you actually did something wrong, and could have prevented or ameliorated the accident or injury, at most you're 50% responsible, and I wouldn't consider offering any more. Is that cruel? Absolutely not, it's taking no more responsibility than you owe.
What you say is true, that the owner (if there is one) bears some responsibility. You compare a small dog to a toddler in the sense of them being likely to run out in traffic and needing adult supervision, which is true, but if I am driving and I hit a toddler, am I not partially responsible? As you go on to say... at least 50%.

We all encounter obstacles on the road and we make split second decisions on how to react. Of course the reaction is different with a small dog and a human child, and rightfully so. Nana, I'm sorry this happened to you and it could easily happen to anyone. You did what made sense to you in the moment. Like others have suggested, I think you will feel better if you report the incident and try to restore some balance in some way that seems right to you. But forgive yourself, it sadly happens to a lot of people.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:39 AM   #14
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but if I am driving and I hit a toddler, am I not partially responsible? As you go on to say... at least 50%
(actually I said "at most 50%" Given the situation as described, that would be my estimate - in most areas, the legal responsibility for such an accident - as described - is 0% and the owner is 100% responsible, unless the driver was driving recklessly, or broke traffic laws).

In a "People's Court" episode (or maybe it was a similar show) several years ago, a driver of a Porsche hit and severely injured a dog that darted into the road - and the driver sued the owners for the damage to his vehicle. They counter-sued for the animal's vet bills. The judge ruled, based on evidence and eyewitness testimony that the man could not have prevented injuring the dog, and therefore owed nothing to the owners of the dog, and the owner's were ordered to pay for the damage to the vehicle. Personally, I think the owner of the Porsche was a bit of a jerk to sue, but legally he had that right (and who knows - he said he only sued, because the owners were harrassing him about paying their dog's vet bills - which they denied).

As to my answer regarding your responsibility should you in driving hit a toddler - your percentage of blame or responsibility could be anything from 0% to 100% depending entirely on the situation. One of my close friends nearly did hit a toddler, instead the woman in the car ahead of him did. He was driving home at night (late at night, sometime between midnight and 2 am), on the interstate (speed limit 55 or 65 mph), and he saw the car ahead of him hit what appeared to be a doll (he said his mind could just not comprehend that there would or could be a child that small, or any human being for that matter darting into the highway like that). The woman stopped her car, and so did my friend (and many others once they realized what happened), but there was nothing anyone coud do. My friend and all of the people who stopped, regardless of which direction they were going when they saw the accident all agreed that none of them had seen the child on the shoulder or in the road until the impact or a split second before, seeing the child on a night that dark just wasn't possible.

Apparently, piecing together things later - the toddler (an 18 month old little boy) was at a wedding reception, and the parents lost track of him, but they figured he was "safe" among all the family at the reception. The little boy had apparently gotten outside and they think (because he loved Taco Bell) saw the taco bell sign in the distance and headed towards it, crossing the interstate to do so (the boy had walked quite a ways, as the accident site was in the middle of the highway, not near the parking lot of the reception hall at all). I believe it was nearly a mile that the little boy had walked.

Who was responsible, and to what degree? Morally? Legally?

My friend had pretty severe post traumatic stress from the incident (being a father himself, and seeing the boy hit and trying to help afterward), and from what he said, so did the woman who hit him. So who was responsible for the child's death? Who was responsible for the post traumatic stress of my friend and the woman who hit the child (she was traveling well within the the speed limit - and there was no way for her to see the child until he was in her path)?

The parents were not charged for neglect, and the woman was not charged for hitting the child, because there was no way she could have forseen the accident or prevented it - therefore she was 0% responsible for it though I'm sure she had many nightmares about it, trying to imagine a way in which she could have prevented it - my friend did and he wasn't even in the car that hit the little boy - I'm sure the parents did much the same thing, and maybe had a little more responsibility for the accident, but were punished rather harshly by the experience (that doesn't mean that anyone owes them compensation for their loss, nor that they're responsible for the harm caused to the people who witnessed the accident, though my friend had a hard time forgiving the parents, not that he said that to them in any way, it was just a difficulty he was having with coping with the aftermath of the accident).


A friend of our family has a husband who is a OTD truck driver, and a man (who was a childhood friend and neighbor of my brother and I) was standing by the roadside - appearing to be waiting to cross the road, and at the last second stepped out in front of the semi. The driver couldn't stop and killed the man. Was he at all to blame (he knows he isn't, but it gives him nightmares still, as well "if only" he had been able to guess the man's intentions, because he had realized it was odd for a man to be standing on the side of this particular road - but the guy was in a sweat suit and the driver just assumed he'd been jogging - his car was found parked some distance away (not visible from the road) with suicide notes to his family and soon-to-be ex wife)?

There are cases in which the driver who injures or kills an animal or even a person with their vehicle IS partially or entirely responsible for the outcome, but just being behind the wheel does not mean that the person gets at least 50% (or for that matter, any) of the blame. If you could not foresee or prevent the accident, you have zero responsibility (except to stop and do what you can for the victim and report the accident, that is a moral and legal responsibility if the accident victim is human - legally the responsibility is somewhat different with an animal, and varies from region to region).
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #15
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Kaplods, sorry for misquoting you. I see what you're saying, but I don't know, when I took driving lessons it was ingrained in me that there is no such thing as an "accident" but only "collisions". This was to remind us that as drivers we have that responsibility--that, at least in theory, every collision can be prevented by taking certain measures, not always in the moment of collision but before that. I'm not sure if I totally agree with that, but I definitely disagree that the measure ever goes to 0% responsibility for the driver.
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