Thursday, March 27, 2008

Give 'Em a Brake

I am not happy, never happy, always sad when I see a dead animal on the side of the road. It really breaks my heart to see a raccoon, a rabbit, a deer, or other animal and know it had its life cut short by some asshole motorist who was probably speeding, didn't notice until it was too late that something was in the road, and killed it. I'm not anthropomorphising these animals and crying that its mom and dad don't know whatever happened to it and they're having a little raccoon search party in the woods looking for Rocky, but it makes me sad. I really love animals and especially in this area and with my job driving, I see so many dead animals every day. I mean, it doesn't take but a second to slow down and let a squirrel cross the street-they're pretty speedy--and deer and rabbits are quite fast as well. Slower animals like raccoons still don't take THAT long and you can always swing into another lane if you really don't have three seconds to spare.

But what really got me was that yesterday I was driving home along Route 17, a major road in this area to be sure, and saw a dead beagle on the side of the road. This is not some animal from the woods, this was someone's beloved pet. Now, we can get into a debate about the owner not chaining their pooch up, but we don't really know that either. The dog could have gotten loose. And when that person got home yesterday, they'd be confronted by the sight of their pet dead on the highway.

And this is not the first time. Over the course of the past year, I've seen half a dozen dogs and cats on the side of the road. Common courtesy would suggest that the killer at least stop and try to find the family and inform them of what they'd done, but apparently like many other things, this practice has flown straight out the window. Better to leave the body on the side of the road and get on with your life.

People really suck sometimes, and I suppose that's why I like animals better on occasion. Seeing these dead critters makes me feel really sad. If anyone else out there feels the same, slow down for a second and let the animals pass. And if you are really serious, the Humane Society will send you a FREE bumper sticker for your car. Visit by clicking HERE for yours today.

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

There's a fine line between "woodland creatures" and "beloved household pets." I guess this is one of those areas where I lean very conservative.

I too get heartbroken to see a dog or cat on the roadway that became intimately familiar with the tread of a Goodyear. I think, "that's somebody's Puddy." For every domesticated roadkill, there's a grieving family.

As for deer? Sorry, but I disagree. They're a clear and present danger on the roadways. They're multiplying worse than rabbits (sorry....), and have a very ugly tendency to leap out in front of cars.

I think it was Ron White to told the joke along the lines of "deer can tell if a bullet is coming at 'em at warp speed ... but if that bullet were going 65 MPH and four wheels, that deer would jump right in front of it."

Unfortunately, in animal/car collisions, not all motorists are speeding. I hit a deer in 2003, and was going at the reckless pace of 45 MPH (in a 50 MPH zone). At 530 in the morning, I never go fast on the road leading to work. And that morning, I encountered three (3) doe in the road - in an area where I'd never before seen 'em - and couldn't stop in time to avoid hitting 'em. I tried merging left in order to scare 'em off, but those fuckers STOOD STILL. I hit one at about 30 MPH, and messed up the front of the car.

I agree with you on dogs and cats. Hit one, and you have a moral obligation to find out where it came from. There's a special place in hell reserved for those who'll just hit a dog/cat and continue on their merry way as if nothing happened.

But as for "woodland creatures" like deer? We need more hunters. Less bag limits. Or something - anything - to sterilize 'em.

The alternative is they'll keep on breeding and one of these days drunk drivers will have nothing on DEER when it comes to lethal situations on the highway.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this issue.

Cindy said...

We were traveling in WV a few years ago, and car in front of us ran over a cat, and we had no idea until we saw it right in front of us. I think we hit it with our bumper, but didn't run over it.

We pulled over, and got the cat out of the road. There was no collar, so we had no idea where it might have lived. I would have gone knocking on people's doors, but it was at night, and I just didn't feel comfortable.

I feel sad when I see cats and dogs on the side of the road. I hope that they died instantly, and didn't have to suffer.

Jeff saw a dog run out of a car at a gas station near his work and get hit in the street. He felt so bad for that family. The dog was still alive from what he could see, but it's just one of those accidents.