Sunday 31 August 2008

Run over a cat or dog

Photo by The Wiseguy - see base of post.

What do you do or should you do when you run over a cat or a dog? This sounds awful but it is a reality, it does happen quite frequently and it does pose some dilemmas.

It goes without saying that we must stop and try and help. This can be difficult in itself. Some time ago I saw a squirrel in the road that had been very recently hit and was in the middle of the road alive and struggling. I couldn't just drive around this animal as cars behind would eventually drive over it so I stopped in the middle of the road to stop cars behind driving over the squirrel.

The next problem is dealing with a badly injured animal of any kind. This can be difficult on a number of levels particularly if you are the kind of person who will stop and help (i.e. a concerned person and/or animal lover). Anyway, I braced myself and using a newspaper I had bought I scooped up the squirrel and placed it in the bushes beside the road to either recover or die. That's it. Not much. The whole thing was slightly traumatic and I walked past the spot some time later but no squirrel.

So, the first problem is, can we deal with the gore, the blood, an animal in pain and difficult to deal with? The cat or dog maybe aggressive because of the pain or may run off. Do you chase the animal and check? Lets say you run over a cat or dog, you stop and the cat is lying there badly injured. What do we do? Are we safe to stop in this road? Will cars behind allow you to walk into the road if the cat is in the middle of the road? This can be a dangerous procedure. Also, how do we know which home he/she comes from (see below)? I guess we check if the cat is still alive. Can we be sure that we can check this properly. No not really.

He died on the road, hit by a car. This video is in memory. The YouTube video maker is Camo4x4s

So, we need to find a vet. Where is the nearest vet? Will they see you immediately? The cat is bleeding, where do you put the cat in the car? Are you one of those people who have immaculate cars all the time? Is this more important than helping a cat that is bleeding? To some it might be surprisingly. Many people wouldn't even stop.

So, we can't find the home and we find a vet, which has taken about 30 minutes. We get to the vet and get seen. The cat can be helped, she has a broken leg and is in shock and bruised but will recover. You stay while the vet does his work or do you go at that point? I guess not.

Now what? Maybe the veterinarian will know the answer. If you don't know where the home is the only thing to do it seems is to take the cat to a local cat shelter or home to your place. Where is the local cat shelter? Probably miles away. Maybe vets have procedures at this point.

I wouldn't be surprised if a veterinarian simply said it was best to euthanize the cat even though she could be saved. Or even if you could get her to a shelter what would they do? They are often overrun with stray cats it seems. Would they take care of an injured cat requiring expensive follow up medical treatment? I doubt it; she's probably end up being euthanized or am I talking nonsense?

The key is to be able to find the person who keeps the cat for them to take over but that could be all but impossible. I think what I would do first is this. Find the nearest house/flat/apartment and find someone to talk to (this may not be possible). Eventually you might and probably will meet someone who knows who keeps the cat in question. From that starting point we have help.

These are the moral and practical issue but what about the law? I read that in the UK (and USA?) that is we run over a cat or dog, in the case of a dog we are obliged to report the accident to the police. If not it may be a criminal offense. But the same is not the case for a cat. Is this true? Can this be correct? If so it seems bizarre and an anomaly in the law.

Lots of questions then, that have to be answered quickly as no doubt when the accident happened you were going somewhere in a rush. Conclusion: if we run over a cat or dog I think that we should stop, make sure the cat or dog is in a safe place or take the cat with us (if possible), and if possible go to the nearest house or home and ask questions as to who keeps the cat or dog and if that doesn't produce an answer ask about the nearest vets etc. and go from there. The local knowledge will help us through the moment more efficiently (i.e. get help more quickly) in my opinion and therefore help the cat. I think we should reschedule the day to accommodate this as well. It's the only way to do the right thing and do it properly.

Run over a cat or dog - Photos - heading page: kitten living dangerously in Turkey, where according to the photographer, you see cats killed on the roads simply left there to be flattened by traffic. Life is more dangerous for domestic cats and feral cats in places like Turkey. Photo published under a creative commons license = Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.

Dead cat: by salmannas creative commons license = Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. This cat was left to die I suppose.

Run over a cat or dog to Home page



  2. Hi, Thanks for the comment. I am not stupid. My suggestion is in fact the same as yours but more refined. As to the picture of the dead cat, this is the reality. I did not take the picture of a dead cat, it was taken by someone else and published under a creative commons license. We need to face the reality. In most parts of the world people just drive on and the cat is left on the tarmac to be squashed.

    It would have been nice if you'd made a more considered comment.

  3. My cat got ran over on Oct 3rd this month and he was my dearest friend (however lame that sounds). It was my worst nightmare to pull out in the street and see him there lifeless. However, I think it is important for people to see pictures like this because it sinks in the reality of taking a life. People run over animals and objectify them. They do not think about the living being they have just murdered or the people that they have just broken the hearts of. If you are sensitive to seeing death, "anonymous", I respect your feelings, but don't punish others for trying to make an important statement. If its painful for you then take some self responsibility and DON'T LOOK! If I die from someone's negligent driving I hope they'll see my splattered body over and over in their head so they can't even sleep without being haunted by the pain they have caused.

  4. hello, i'm the creator of the video you featured in your post.

    it is covered by a NON-COMMERCIAL license, which means you cannot use it as a content draw on sites such as this that have advertisements; in addition, you have failed to credit me in the text of the post.

    I would appreciate its immediate removal.

    Thank you.

  5. Hi, thanks for the comment about the video. I chose it because this site and the main site are for charitable purposes. It is non-commercial. All adsense goes to cat rescue. This meets your license. I always give a credit for images as can be seen throughout the site and I always do my best to comply with licenses. I have credited it with your user name but if you want something else please say. I was unaware that that this video required a credit.

  6. thanks for your reply,

    there really isn't a clear definition of terms for the licenses, i.e., i believe that something can still be commercial and also non-profit. I'm not going to make an issue of that, but ONLY because i agree with your charity.

    As for the license, please note that there are dozens of different c.c. licenses and all my work on flickr clearly states 1) non-commercial use only, as well as 2) attribution required. Some licenses allow reuse without attribution, but you'd need to specifically search for those on flickr.

  7. I have just ran over a cat. The cat came out of no where and i just could not stop in time. It was filled with regret when i heard a sickening thud for a split second. From my rear mirror, i can see the cat struggling for a second. I immediately stopped and came out from the car. But, it did not move anymore. My worst fear had came true. I ran to the cat and found it motionless. There was blood coming out from the cat. I am sure that the cat is dead. As i stood there, i put the cat in a bag and brought it to a nearby river. Prayed for it and then threw it into the river. My heart was filled with remorse and regret. Never have i thought that i would kill a living thing or take away a life. Never... I did what i felt was right and logical. The cat has no collar. But it was a living thing, a possible mother or a companion for others. Although it was unintentional, i am still the one responsible for the death of that cat. This sin or burden shall be mine to carry forever. It will never go away and it shall never be forgotten.

  8. I feel for you. For people who care it hurts. It is not a sin, just an accident. Life is like that. Cats, domestic or wild, live in a hostile world not suited to them, it seems to me. The sin, if there is a sin, is humankind who have collectively created a situation where we have domesticated the cat yet failed to provide a pleasant and safe environment for the cat unless she is imprisoned in a home, an unnatural environment that they get used to, yes, but unnatural nonetheless. Take care.

  9. last night i see a tragic accident. i heard the bang of a car hitting something. i looked out to see what was what happening. to my eyes i see a cat laying on the pavement. it broke my heart as i am an animal lover. i went down.. the man who had ran her over was still there he had not drove of. i then got a black bag just to lay over the cat as there were children outside, i then got a box and placed the cat in which unfortunatly did die there was nothing that i could do. i then took the box home, went around the neighbour hood and knocked on doors to see if there was anyone who knew of the cat or if it was theirs to break the sad news, i had taken the cats collor of to take with me. it was obviously a well looked after cat as it had lovely smooth white fur. there was a metal tag on the collar but thhe address had come of the collar. as it was sunday there was nothing else i could do i phoned rspca and they said there was nothing they could do so i kept her in the box and put her in the cupboard. today i have taken her down to the vets and now they are taking over. i did try my best to find the owner. i have now left her in the hands of the vet which i hope now take care of her. i just hope that they do find the owner to tell them the bad news. she died instntly so i just hope she was in no pain

  10. Lauren, thanks for your story and contribution.

  11. My wonderful little 6 month old kitten Cinnamon Sticks was just run over on June 2/3 2009. It must have happened during the night becuase when I left for school the next morning,(I was going to Wisconsin Dells) I saw the orange pelt of a cat, and I knew it was him, My Little Buddy. His brother and sister had been waiting for their food and I thought it was strange that he was not with them that morning. I am really mad that the person did not swerve around him when he was still alive, and normally there is not much in traffic around our house at night, and I am still blaming myself for not knocking on the bathroom window that I saw him out of for the last time. If I had knocked, he would have turned around and come back to the house, he never would have gone to the road, and he would have never been killed. I loved him so much, and now that it is summer vacation, I am even sadder that I can't have days filled with his wonderful love.

  12. Response to last comment: I know how you feel. I may have said that I lost my girl cat 15 years ago. She was hit by a car. It was my fault and I still feel guilty and I still cry for her. I am worried about the road near your house. I think you might consider indoor only cats or an enclosure of some sort. It makes me very nervous. There is a cat next door who wanders over the road and into my home and I fear one day she will be killed. I spoke to the owner but she would not listen. Good luck and take care. May your little buddy rest in peace. He is in a better place.

  13. I unintentionally ran over a cat a couple of days ago...i slowed down for it to get across the street since it was in front of the person's car in the lane to my right but then it stopped in its thinking that it would wait for me to go....i then put my foot back on the gas pedal...and that's when it decided to run in front of my car and I hit it...I was not able to stop and get out to see if it was okay since there were cars behind me traveling speeds above 50 km/hr....I felt really bad for doing that since I love animals and have a cat of my own...I wish it was not me who killed it :(

  14. Hi, I know how you feel. I ran over a cat when I was about 20 years old. I am now 60. I still have the moment crystal clear in my head. At the time I was a slightly unfeeling youth. Now it would really give me a problem if a cat ran out under the car.

  15. I never thought I would kill any animal. I have had pet dogs pass away in the past, they got sick and needed to be put down. But there is something different when you kill someone else's cat by accident. I personally wish people will keep their cats inside, especially at night. But I guess that is their choice. The cat happened to be playing around with a raccoon late around 11:30 pm on June 18, 2009. As I was driving down the residential road I noticed this. I noticed the cat and raccoon (I realized it was a raccoon later on, first I thought it was two cats) were running around in the bushes on the left side of the road. I believe I slowed down to make sure they were staying over in the bushes, at least I usually do when animals are around the road. It appeared they were so I continued on. Until the last second I saw the cat scramble in front of my car, basically a couple of feet in front of my tires, and I squealed to a stop but it was too late. through the rear view mirror it appeared the cat was moving still. So then I turned around to go check on it, this is when I noticed the other thing was a racoon because it was sniffing it. When I pulled up to the cat and opened my door the raccoon ran away and I noticed the cat was lifeless. It really got to me because the last thing I want to do is hurt an animal and/or someone else. I know that someone owns that cat and now the cat is dead. And to think that because of my existence I have caused hurt really irritates me. I want to make a difference in a positive way not a negative way. I drove off not really knowing what to do. Then ended up going back minutes later after finding this site and thought I could at least get it off the road. So I did. It was too late to go knocking on peoples doors because it was at like 11:30 pm. I didnt want the cat to be a missing mystery on what happened to it. So I thought the best thing I could do is rest it on the side off the road. If anyone has a similar experience like this, you have to remember that no matter how tragic the past may be, you cannot rewrite it. But what you can do is write the future, one day at a time. I have a legacy still to create. As down as I might be about me killing the cat, I still must move on, everyone must move on. Because there is always someones life you can change positively. Without moving on and writing the future, that life will not be touched. So I just deeply pray that the cat is in a safe place and that the family of the cat understands that and has great strength. And I too will move on. Take care everybody.
    Ps. If you wish to connect with me you can do so on:

  16. Hi Marvin, thanks for your contribution, a really good contribution.

  17. If I ever ran over a dog or cat, I would NOT stop for the following reasons:
    1)Inevitably somebody else will come to the animal's aid soon enough.
    2)The longer the animal waits for assistance, the harder the lesson will hit home.
    3)If it's dead, it's dead.
    4)It's the animal's own stupid fault for failing to observe the danger, and it's not my place to interfere with Darwinian natural selection.
    5)You don't want to attract the attention of dozens of slack-jawed rubbernecks.
    6)The police might show up and impose upon you with all their questions and whatever else.

  18. I was searching for statistics on what percentage of cats die of old age compared to those dying prematurely from RTAs and happened to come across this site... My cat was killed 4 weeks ago. She was very much loved and one of three cats we have. There is, of course, always the dilemma about whether you allow your cat the freedom to come and go as they please, or have them as a 'house cat', but we are of the opinion that our cats have freedom of choice to roam and experience what nature offers with all their senses. Of course you can minimize the risk by being vigilant about not letting them outside at night. I'd just like to say that I was horrified that one car driver saw that the cat had no collar and put it in a bag and threw it in the river! None of my cats have collars - I do not believe them to be safe either, rather they are micro-chipped and therefore please do not assume that a collarless cat cannot be retraced to its owner! Fortunately for me, someone scooped up my cat's lifeless body and took her to a vet, whereby I was informed by phone that my cat had been handed in. Although I was devasted, at least we could collect her body the following day and bury her in our garden - a lesser of two evils of not knowing what happened to her. Within a week we had brought home another addition to the family. Pining over Holly wouldn't bring her back and there are thousands of cats needing a new home in animal shelters all over the world.

  19. I am in mourning. We had a beautiful 4 year old marbled Bengal, named 'Cat', that we dearly love and pampered and spoiled. She was an in and out cat. She was killed by my husband and I in our vehicle. This is what I don't understand... it was a warm windy day along the Florida coast, and our cat NEVER slept under any of our hoods before. She was always able to walk all over them, and we had seen some footprints on the engine before, but never seen her crawl up or down from there. Before we left, I had gone outside to call her because she wasn't in her normal sleeping spots. When she didn't come or talk, I assumed she was at on of the neighbors sleeping like she has done several times before. So after about 15 minutes, we get in the truck, my husband driving, and we sat there for a second, messing with the a/c, and then we slowly back out the driveway and pull off. We were probably going about 20 mph, and then suddenly, it felt like we hit a pothole - we looked in the rearview mirrors, nothing, looked again, and saw what we thought looked too big to be a squirrel thrashing about. We had never hit a cat before, didn't know what to do. We didn't stop (whatever we hit, we knew was dead). But we were also feeling horrible and really didn't know what to do - it was AWFUL! Then as we're driving, we had an awful feeling that it could have been our cat, because we both were positive that we saw nothing run out in front of us. About 10 minutes later on our way back we wanted to drive back and stop. The cat was no longer in the street. We get back to our house and start calling for our cat - nothing, I check my phone (she wears a collar with tag). There were no messages, so we had a little hope. Then less than 5 minutes later the call came. Someone asked if we had a bengal cat. I said yes, and she said that she had been run over and that the truck that hit her didn't stop. I knew it was us but didn't say anything because I was so upset. My husband went to her house, told her what happened and picked her up and brought her back to be buried in our backyard. I feel so at fault because from the time we got her, my husband always said that she should stay away from the vehicles because they were too dangerous, they could crawl up in them, etc. He relented and allowed me to raise and spoil her with abandon. If we were working on our vehicles with the hood up, she would jump up to be with us, he would scold her, I didn't, at least not as vocal and stern as I should have (and cats are smart, she knew it wasn't my stern voice). She was bonded with me, so I know she was looking to see how mad I'd get at her. She was super smart and definitely pushed the envelope with us by doing things she wasn't supposed to ie. sleeping on our bed pillows. He would get mad at her, but she knew she could relatively get by with it with me. But I can't help feel responsible for not demanding that she stay away from the vehicles. Why did she have to die for me to learn this lesson? My husband tells me that she was headstrong and there is nothing I could've done, but I just can't buy it. I believe if I'd have been more strict, she's still be alive today. Why did she climb up there and sleep? It was hot out - breezy, yes, but it was sitting in the sun. Why didn't she come out when I called for her before we left, or squeak or anything? I just miss her so much. She was awesome. This happened just 2 days ago. I really wish I had kept her away from the cars altogether starting when she was young. I just don't understand why she had to die? Christina

  20. My cat was up in my car when I was driving off and did not know she was there. I guess when I turned out of my drive way she fell out and I ran over her. I did not know any of it happened until I saw something in my side mirror. I saw her jumping up and down. I slammed on breaks and turned around to make sure that I was seeing was I was seeing. I was just wondering when cats get run over do their nerves make them jump beacuse I really did not want her to be alive jumping like that. I hope it was her nerves, I did not want her to feel any pain. I have been so worried about it. She was only 2 months old and I can't bare to think that she was alive and in pain. I hope she died instantly and it was her nerves doing it. What do you think? I really want to get this out of my head. The mama cat knows, I can tell. I feel soooo horrible and all I can do it hug the mama and tell her I am sorry.

  21. I do believe it is there nerves. Ours did the same thing - body basically flailing about - I think they are like chickens - it's so fast they feel no pain. But their nerves make them move, which is horrible for us to see.

  22. I am a cat person myself, but what differs from most cat persons over this board is that I don't love cats of all kinds.

    I dislike feral cats as they are aggressive and fight with my house cats. (another story)

    I dislike cats roaming free on the streets and if I ever run over one, so be it! I won't even bother to stop to check if it's dead or not.

    Nowadays, cat owners are getting more irresponsible as more cats roaming freely and caused more hazard to road also not to mention that it's VERY irritating to have to watch out for animals rather than more important figures-children. It's also very irritating to brake hard just becoz some crazy owner decide to let their cats free-roaming and getting into my way?! After the last time I nearly crashed to the ditch to avoid a cat(xxxx that owner's ass), I no longer brake for any animals, if they choose to be squeezed between my wheel, let them be!

    I keep all my cats totally indoors, and if you want to be a cat owner please be responsible. The fault isn't the drivers but the owners. I supposed a squeezed beloved *flat* cat is the best lesson to teach thou.

  23. Last night I was coming home with my sister and her friend at around 10:30pm. My cat was outside and always runs to the car to greet us, but she usually stays farther to the side than she did last night. She always moves... I was pulling into the driveway and was trying to go slowly so that she would move, but I felt the car go over a small bump. I jumped out of the car and ran to the other side and looked under the car to see my cat flopping around agressively and scratching at the ground.. It was dark so I didn't really see much else. I thought maybe I'd run over her paws/legs or something (I was hopeful that was all and she would be ohhkay) and I ran inside, histarical, screaming that I ran over the cat on accident. My mum and dad ran outside and I followed. My cats body had managed to flop to the end of the car, and she was dead. I ran over her head, and she was still bleeding profusely. We all broke down crying, but I was a mess because I kept blaming myself. My mum pulled the car the rest of the way up since I was too in shock to do it and I was shaking, and in no condition to opperate a vehicle of any kind. When she did, we saw more blood splattered everywhere, mostly where I ran her over at. She even got blood on my legs from when she was flopping around and splattering blood everywhere. No one wants me to be alone because they're afraid I'm blaming myself and might do something stupid. I didn't fall asleep at 2am and woke up at 5am. The second I woke up it seemed everything just came rushing back.. We've had her for almost 8 years and she always moves. I can't help but blame myself because I was driving and I should have been more cautious and stop the car and make sure she had moved when she was running to the car. I'm still crying because it's hard to believe she's gone.. and the fact that I saw her in pain, flopping around like a fish out of water, and then just die, really keeps pushing me over the edge. It keeps playing over and over in my head.. the "bump" and then running out to see what it was... and then her bloody and dead body... We buried her, but I still don't feel better. To my family and cat: I'm really, really sorry. I didn't mean to. :'(

  24. WTF is wrong with you putting a gruesome image in a post on an animal site! If I was doing a post about dead people I would not put images of killed people! Have some decency!

    Maybe you shouldn't have let your cat out Erica - just because you had to see it doesn't mean the rest of us should. Like I said, death is a reality for people too. Should we have to see mangled dead bodies?

  25. Hello, this is Christina from a few posts ago - every now and then I check back on this site. Running over our own cat, a bengal of 4 years was the worst ever.

    However, all I can say to those of you that recently did the same - the best, best possible thing to do is to get another cat. It's their presence and personality that keeps you depressed about it. We've since gotten another bengal and she's absolutely wonderful. Is she the same - no, of course not, but she has a different personality that makes her fill that special place in your heart. She's almost 7 months old now, and has not gone outside yet. We are waiting to install an electric fence. Yes, they make these for cats - Petsafe makes them. There is a training video and everything. It won't keep her off the vehicles - but that's also going to be a HUGE NO NO this time around- she will not be allowed anywhere near the vehicles. We're also going to try and keep a strict in/out schedule. Putting her on an electric fence will keep her out of the street and out of other peoples yards, aways from dogs.

    My advice for anyone who has just run over their cat, is to go out and get another.

    PS - I agree with the recent comment about seeing the dead cat image - was that really necessary?

  26. ran over a cat last night and after getting over the shock of seeing it flailing about in the road before it lay still, I grew increasingly angry toward the owners. Why do irresponsible owners let their cats out at night to roam around and cause accidents? I braked hard to try and miss it, thus causing the vehicles behind to slam on their brakes and risk a pile-up. Next time I will not brake, as I regard human lives as being more important than a dumb cat.

  27. I think we should also consider the drivers who run over a cat; what an awful experience… for anyone to go through or see. Cat, Dog, or anything that has a soul would give anyone nightmares for a long time. Where is the city’s / owner’s responsibility to make sure that stray or pet cats are not running in traffic areas.

  28. I think we should also consider the drivers who run over a cat; what an awful experience… for anyone to go through or see. Cat, Dog, or anything that has a soul would give anyone nightmares for a long time. Where is the city’s / owner’s responsibility to make sure that stray or pet cats are not running in traffic areas.

  29. That's why more people should consider Electric Fence for their pets - it's an awful experience for everyone involved to hit a cat. Get the electric fence. There's a barrier of beeps that warns the cats before they get shocked. And it only takes one shock to teach them. The warning beeps will keep them from ever getting shocked again. Not to mention getting a minor shock once or twice is much more humane than getting run over by a car or attacked by a dog. Think about all involved and make the $150 investment. Ebay sells them and they are warrantied 100% by the manufacturer. The item number for the Petsafe Cat Kit is PIG00-11007. Easy to install.

  30. Two weeks ago my beautiful little cat was run over. I tried so hard for it not to happen- I always got him in at night. The thing that upset me was that someone ran him over and then drove off. How could anyone do that without at least trying to find the owner? or ringing a vet/ the Police? It should be the law that you report it I am filled with nightmares that he was a long time there hurt before he died. A kind young man came past and saw him and took him off the road. I got him back the next day and I saw that at least he was not damaged- he looked asleep. I don't think you should put horrible images of cats dead on the road because young teenagers like to use them to shock people and seem to find it a way to provoke reaction. It is offensive and animals deserve respect and dignity just like human beings. They feel fear and pain and we should make it our business to stop images like this on the Net.

  31. Why the fuck you gone put a picture of your fucking dead cat online!!!!.I have 7 cat's myself an I love them truly!!!!.man I would never take a picture of my dead animal an put the shit online bitch!!!!.All you need is an good ass wooping an I won't to be the one to beat your dum ass!!!!.Hoa at me!!!!!.

  32. There is alot of peoples views on this subject!My girlfriends cat was found run over outside her house 4/9/2013. RIP William. Who ever did it just drove on we think as no one in the road was notified of this. He may have just died instantly, this I hope so that he wasnt in pain for some time left on his own struggling to survive. The fact is people who hit animals should help them and take them to a vet straight away and then go back to find the owner and explain whats happened. Having said this most people just drive on they do not think how important that dog or cat may be to someone. Both of me and my girl friend cried for weeks and after berrying him will never forget him, he was our life. I believe it should be made law to report to the police for a cat as it is with a dog. Maybe fixed fines should be put in place for hitting a dog or cat in a built up area where drivers should be taking more care and rarely stick to the speed limits and conditions of the road.

    Anyway I would say to anyone that has a pet to keep them in at night and I hope you will never find your cat or dog dead one day.


Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts