Law would require reporting pets hit on road
A California lawmaker has proposed making it illegal to flee the scene of an accident in which a dog, cat or farm animal has been injured.
The measure, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Eng, would require that drivers attempt to provide aid to an injured farm animal or pet, and notify the owner or animal-control authorities. Violators would face fines and possible jail time.
Eng said he wrote the bill after hearing from a constituent who lost a family dog.
While it is a misdemeanor to flee an accident involving property loss — after crushing a mailbox, for example — there is no law against a hit-and-run involving a pet, Eng said.
“You can wantonly hit an animal and leave and face no consequences,” Eng said. “An inanimate object has more rights.”
“In theory, it makes a lot of sense to let people know they have an obligation when they hit an animal,” Jon Cicirelli of the California Animal Control Directors Association, told the Los Angeles Times. “But in practice it can be pretty problematic.” Injured animals might turn on people trying to help, he pointed out.
New York, Germany and Singapore have similar laws, according to the Times article.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, california, cats, crime, dogs, eng, farm animal, fleeing, highways, hit-and-run, law, legislature, pet, pets, proposal, road, scene