by: Amy Wade-Carotenuto
Executive Director, Flagler Humane Society
Last week, a call came in regarding a dog that had been hit by a car in the western part of Flagler County. Our animal services division was already pulled in several directions, so I put my office work aside and answered the call. Upon arriving at the appellant’s home, I saw a large, tan square-headed dog in the front yard. The caller noticed the pathetic puppy and gave him water. No one had seen the dog get hit; however, his injuries were consistent with a collision with a vehicle.
Although he couldn’t get up, he lifted his head and slammed his tail. He ate a few treats and allowed me to lift his pitiful 70-pound body and haul it to the car.
Our friends at Tomoka Pines Veterinary Hospital took x-rays and it was discovered that he had a dislocated hip. He also had several lacerations on the underside and hind legs. An injury that did not match the current injuries caused by the vehicle was an injury that resembled an injury to the integrated collar. The neck injuries were older. I guess someone tied a string or a lace around his neck when he was a puppy. Although the string was no longer there, the marks of it remained.
Boy, if animals could talk, right? I’m sure this guy has a sad story, I’m just not sure about the details.
Our staff named him Miracle, but he’s a boy, so I call him “Murray”.
That night Murray came home with me so I could give him his midnight dose of painkillers. The next morning, it was back to Tomoka Pines, where Dr. Long performed the operation to put his hip back in place. Murray resisted the operation well and spent the night at my house as well. He was very brave, and I think he understood when I promised him that he would feel so much better soon.
People have asked me how can someone hit a dog and go on? Well, it’s not just a matter of conscience, but hitting a pet with a vehicle and not stopping is against Florida law. It’s actually punishable by a fine of $ 500 and up to 60 days in jail.
You see, in Florida pets are considered “property” and Florida Law 316.061 states that when the driver of a vehicle causes property damage, he or she is required to immediately stop the car and stay on. the premises until he provides his contact details to the owner. or an agent of the owner:
If no one is found or available, they are required to report the accident to law enforcement. Failure to do so is a second degree offense.
If you hit an animal while driving:
- Stop your car so that you do not obstruct traffic. Go out where it is safe to do so.
- Check on the animal. Call for help and wait for help to arrive. Move the animal if it is necessary to avoid possible accidents with more cars.
- Be careful when moving the animal. An injured and frightened animal may bite because of the pain.
- If no owner is located, check the animal for tags. If there are people around, ask them if they recognize the animal and if they possibly know the owner.
- Call law enforcement or animal services. We can search for a microchip and make sure the lost animal receives veterinary care. Not stopping can get you into legal trouble.
So please drive real safe for all those Murrays out there. And by the way, Murray is up for adoption.