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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2006
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    VA (or MS during the school year)
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    2,513

    Question WWYD? Dog on I-81

    It's really too late to do anything now, but this has haunted me for a few days.

    I was driving home from MS to VA a few days ago and while on I-81, I saw a momma dog (looked like a Rottie?) and two puppies walking along the side of the median. I quickly looked in my rear view mirror to see what traffic was like behind me and I was unable to stop. If I would have even tried I would have been rear ended by an 18 wheeler and I had cars next to me on my right. There was no shoulder to pull off on closest to the median. I could have tried to pull over to the right but I don't know if I would have been able to cross.

    I had the peson riding with me look up the number to the closest animal shelter and told them the estimated place of where I saw them, but that was all I could do.

    I felt awful. I hope she didn't have more puppies that were killed. She only had two that were with her. I wish I could have stopped. I would have tried to pick them up... and if momma dog wouldn't let me then at least I would know I tried.

    So, COTHers... WWYD in this situation?
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  2. #2
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    Dec. 20, 2009
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    OP - I was in this situation once; saw a dog on the side of busy interstate, could not get over- was pulling a horse trailer at the time...At least you were able to call someone; that's about the best you could have done in the situation. Hopefully someone was able to get them.
    Dont beat yourself - sadly its not always possible to do what you would like to.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2010
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    Middle America
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    I would have done exactly what you did. Including thinking about it for days afterwards.

    I have rescued dogs off busy roads and interstates; but when you're on a really busy interstate and you can't safely stop, then there's not a whole lot more you could do. Good idea to call animal control though! You did everything you could.
    Whatever.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    In a situation like that, I tend to call 911, simply because that's an accident looking for a place to happen if someone swerves to avoid a dog.

    I would still be beating myself up over it too.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  5. #5
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    Oct. 19, 2008
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    333

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    Kudos to you for making such an effort to save this mom and her two pups.. How horrifying it must have been to see a potential tragedy unfolding and hoping they were all rescued.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 26, 2009
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    Stroudsburg, PA
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    I second calling 911, personally I would stop but that's what I do, I rescue so anyone who is in the car with me knows I will stop regardless of the situation. I have in the past driven by and found a place to park then walked back but again that's what I do because that's what I do lol. I don't expect everyone to do that and not everyone should given each situation, I think you did the best thing which was call someone, in that situation though you can call 911 because as LKY said, that is considered an emergency given that it can cause an accident.
    The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    I don't think it would be overreacting to call 911 because some people would swerve before hitting a dog which could kill the person and others in a pile up in a heavy traffic area.

    I don't think that it's EVER wise to hit the brakes and risk human life to avoid hitting a critter or to stop and get one off the side of the road. So I think you did the right thing. I'd rather read about a dog hit by car than someone like the OP getting nailed on a busy highway. I feel for the dog(s). I do. I feel for any critter and do my best to avoid hitting one.

    But you have to keep things in some perspective. So I think you did the best you could at the time with the information you had. No one can fault you for that. ((hugs))
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    I've had similar experiences, and have both stopped and not stopped, depending on traffic and other factors. There was one time where I fought myself for miles, but I just knew that the dog in particular was way too scared to react well to a stopping car/stranger approaching. Sometimes, by approaching a scared or wary animal, you can do more harm. I know how to approach a dog non confrontationally, very slowly and carefully and yet I can't guarantee that a dog won't catch onto my plan and freak out. And when a dog is freaking out, all logic and awareness of traffic can go out the window.
    You definitely did the right thing by calling animal control. That's what I was going to suggest before I read that was what you had done in the op.
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  9. #9
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    I would do the same thing that you did.
    I usually have some treats and a slip leash in my car just in case I see a stray dog. Believe me, my friends and family are fully convinced that I am completely crazy and out of control just because I will stop and lure stray dogs into my car.
    At the same time, you can't always stop. If I have a dog with me and no safe place to stash him while I try to catch a stray and call A.C. to come pick the stray up, then I can't do it. If it is on a busy road, I never stop. I do call A.C. and make a report, but there are just too many people hit while they are out of their cars on busy roads to risk it. If you were seriously injured or killed, not only would you be seriously injured or killed, but you couldn't take care of your own animals either. You did the best you could under tough circumstances. I hope the dog and the puppies made it safely to the shelter.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 11, 2007
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    Montana
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    You did what you could... I've been in that situation before too and with my mom who is a huge softie. I practically ripped all the mirrors off her car so she would stop looking back for fear she would see the goofy yellow basset get hit. That was probably 13 years ago and I still remember it vividly and wonder what happened to the dog. We called the animal shelter when we got where we were going-pre cell phone days.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    Oh, I keep a leash and treats in my car too. Glad I'm not the only one. My mom thinks I'm nuts. I warn everyone who rides with me that I'll stop and try to catch a stray if I see one.

    I often hear stories of people picking up dogs off the side of the highway and have always wondered what to do in that situation. Fortunately, 12 trips to or from school, I've never come across a stray. Driving around town occasionally I do, but not on the high way. I just hope to never see one there again.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  12. #12
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    Mar. 7, 2003
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    You just can't stop on some roads, so you do what you can when you can. If it's any comfort, sometimes you can stop and things can turn out well.

    About 4 years ago my daughter and I picked up a dog we thought had been hit by a car. Turns out she was just exhausted, skeleton-thin, and hugely pregnant. The only time I have ever seen a dog that thin was on t.v. Three nights after we took her home, she rewarded us with seven puppies. She was a wonderful mom, all the pups lived and found good homes. The night the pups were born was one of the coldest that year. If she had made it on the road and had them in the open, there's no way they would have lived...
    Y'all ain't right!



  13. #13
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Washington State
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    I've been in the same situation before and could only call 911 and report it. They in turn said they would contact animal control and get someone out to the area that we saw the dog. It really was the only thing we could do and I felt better that I had done something.



  14. #14
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    Jun. 20, 2000
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    Full time in Delhi, NY!
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    I wouldn't stop to pick up my MOTHER on I-81. That road is a killer.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Nov. 10, 2005
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    Va
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    I think calling is the best thing. No way would I try to stop on 81 the traffic is usually terrible. The other thing is if I stopped and tried to catch the animals and it resulted in them being hit, I think it would really bother me.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    I've had that happen twice on Interstates. Once, the car in front of me slammed on his brakes at rush hr, and I had to do the same, and saw a big Malamute on the left median. I opened my door and called to him "hey! Wanna go for a ride?" And he ran over and jumped in. I was headed to the vets to pick up some meds for Jet, so had the vet call the vet info on his Rabies tag in Houston. I told the vet I'd pay to board him a day or two to give his owners time to get him. Vet didn't charge me. It turned out that the owners had just moved here and dog had escaped yard. They picked him up that afternoon, and made a donation to local rescue.

    Another time I was driving on I-10 around 12:30, in the fast lane and whizzed by a Shih Tsu trotting against the cement barrier in the median going the opposite direction of the traffic. I could see he had a collar and tags so took the next exit to loop around to go get him. The whole time I was debating with myself, because i was worried that he may get scared of me and run out into the traffic, and I'd see him get hit. And if he didn't get killed, but was just injured and yelping, I wouldn't be able to go out there to get him. But I figured if I didn't try, he would end up killed when he tried to cross back across the freeway.

    So I stopped about 50 feet ahead of him, and as close to the fast lane as I could, so there would be space between the car and the cement barrier that he could run thru, if he got scared, instead of going around the car into the fast lane. Then I walked ahead of the car, staying close to the traffic, to give him space to stay close to the median, and I crouched down and put out my hand. He walked slowly up to sniff my fingers, then I saw his weight shift back like he was going to back off, and I just lunged at him and grabbed his fur and skin, and anything else I could get. He was snapping at me, and yelping/growling, but I didn't dare let go. I picked him up and got back in the car and called the number on his tag. Owner answered and we met up. She didn't seem to believe me when I told her where he was. He had traveled down a 6 lane main street and crossed the exit ramp of the interstate, and 3 lanes of traffic going 65-75 mph, and not been hit.

    I later found out, that he had been out there since 8:30 in the morning, and my coworkers husband had seen him when he was going to work. A courtesy patrol truck was stopped, and a guy was trying to catch him, but he'd just run off. I can't believe he survived.

    I think the OP did the right thing. If you can't safely stop, and there is no exit nearby, so you can do a U turn, there isn't much you can do. If the dog on the interstate looked to be a mixed breed in poor shape, with no collar, I might not have gone back, because if it wasn't a pet, it might not have been friendly, and would have been more likely to have run into traffic to escape. I wouldn't want to see that, or feel like I caused it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milocalwinnings View Post
    It's really too late to do anything now, but this has haunted me for a few days.

    I was driving home from MS to VA a few days ago and while on I-81, I saw a momma dog (looked like a Rottie?) and two puppies walking along the side of the median. I quickly looked in my rear view mirror to see what traffic was like behind me and I was unable to stop. If I would have even tried I would have been rear ended by an 18 wheeler and I had cars next to me on my right. There was no shoulder to pull off on closest to the median. I could have tried to pull over to the right but I don't know if I would have been able to cross.

    I had the peson riding with me look up the number to the closest animal shelter and told them the estimated place of where I saw them, but that was all I could do.

    I felt awful. I hope she didn't have more puppies that were killed. She only had two that were with her. I wish I could have stopped. I would have tried to pick them up... and if momma dog wouldn't let me then at least I would know I tried.

    So, COTHers... WWYD in this situation?
    I think that there are VERY few people who haven't been in your situation at one or more times in their lives. And it would take a very hard heart not to have it preying on ones conscience.

    You did what you safely could, which is more than I'm sure a lot of folks just speeding by did. And I-81 is a dangerous roadway even without critters.



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