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If you ran over and killed a neighbor's dog...


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I am looking for advice and opinions - my husband just called me and said he ran over someone's dog and killed it.  He was on a residential street in our neighborhood and there were some kids in the road, plus a parked car, and he said he was already slowed down because of that, but the dog apparently ran out from in front of the parked car.  He of course stopped, the owner unfortunately saw it happen and was very upset.  Since my husband was on his way to work, he didnt' stay long, and he apologized.  But what do we do now?  This person lives just down the street from us and we drive by their house all the time, I feel like there is something extra we should do.  We don't have the money to spare right now, and part of me wants we want to do something special for them, but then I wonder if they would even want something from the person who's semi-responsible for killing their dog.  My husband is really distraught, he's even more attached to his animals than I get. 

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go talk to them, tell them how sorry you are about their loss, but don't accept blame. the dog shouldn't have been running loose, and the owners have to take responsibility for that.

Was just about to say the same. Walk down and talk to them.

Original Post by hcannon23:

I am looking for advice and opinions - my husband just called me and said he ran over someone's dog and killed it.  He was on a residential street in our neighborhood and there were some kids in the road, plus a parked car, and he said he was already slowed down because of that, but the dog apparently ran out from in front of the parked car.  He of course stopped, the owner unfortunately saw it happen and was very upset.  Since my husband was on his way to work, he didnt' stay long, and he apologized.  But what do we do now?  This person lives just down the street from us and we drive by their house all the time, I feel like there is something extra we should do.  We don't have the money to spare right now, and part of me wants we want to do something special for them, but then I wonder if they would even want something from the person who's semi-responsible for killing their dog.  My husband is really distraught, he's even more attached to his animals than I get. 

Your husband is NOT responsible. He already told them he was sorry. He could end it there and that would be perfectly reasonable. Please don't think you owe them more than that--the real responsibility is with the dog's owners. And let me extend my sympathy to your husband for having to go through something like this.

It says a lot about your character and your husband's that you feel  the desire to do something special for your neighbors. :)

I agree with everyone - if it was me I would go down and again apologize now that he doesn't have to be somewhere like work.  If they are reasonable, they will also apologize to him for their dog running out - sometimes it's just a matter of wrong place at the right time.  Sorry that happened - I would be heartbroken too! 

aw geez your poor husband. either go down and talk to them like suggested, or maybe send a card saying how sorry you are for their loss?

it's true that it wasn't your husbands fault, but i really feel for the owner of the dog too. i mean, my dog has gotten loose before. i'm human and he's a dog, it happens. if someone had hit him then, i'd blame myself, but i think it would be nice to know the person who hit him cared.

Thanks everyone for the good advice, it makes sense.  It's an uncomfortable situation to be in.  I think we'll visit with them this evening when we get home from work. 

My dog was hit on the street next to my mom and neighbor at our mailbox, actually where I had been standing 5 minutes beforehand. We also live on a dead end street. So it's a completely different scenario. The first truck hit her and the second ran her over. NEITHER TRUCK STOPPED, IT WOULD HAVE MADE THE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FOR THEM TO AT LEAST STOP. So BRAVO, your husband did the right and ethical thing. Most pet owners would agree that they are not pets, they are family members and therefore they are going through that same grieving. I agree with most of the responses above, just go over and talk to them, there are actually sympathy cards for loss of pets. Don't get wrangled into paying for anything (euthanizing can cost hundreds).

So I'll share the ending of my dog getting hit, because it's a good one. We took Koko to the vet and I went to school. My family didn't have the money to do the experimental surgery so she signed and payed for Koko to be let go. She did request that they wait so that we (my siblings and I) would all have a chance to say goodbye. So we went there and did our thing. Our entire neighborhood was over grieving with us when we got a phone call saying they were so touched by my mom asking for us to have a chance to say goodbye they did the surgery for free and we could pick her up tomorrow if she lived the night. She was my miracle baby. She lived 16 more years and died at the age of 17, not so shabby for a shepard mutt.

I hope you all feel better. Coming from someone whose dog was hit, it hurts like heck, but in your case your husband did nothing wrong. 

A very sad, crappy, tragic and preventable situation, to be sure.

Shame on them for not having their dog contained. I know your husband didn't see the poor dog, and never meant to hurt him..this was an accident, so he doesn't *owe* them anything.

That said..what would make your husband feel better about this? would it help him to go there and speak with them..take some flowers for the grave (if the dog was buried..) something like that?

Maybe give them a card designed for the loss of a pet?

If this would help ease his regret over things, then sure.

 

Personally, if I hit someone's dog, I would be devastated even though it was accidental, and would probably cry my eyes out with the owners.

I'm a girl though.

 

also, i should have mentioned, when i was a kid my beloved dog was hit by a car right in front of our house. he survived, but i still remember that day like it was yesterday. the poor woman who hit him got out of her car and was very upset and crying. she was probably going too fast down the hill like most people do, but it wasn't her fault that he was in the road.

i actually wish she had come back because she must have felt terrible, and wouldn't have known that he survived. we were never angry with her at all.  

I would speak to the owners- I know if my pet got killed in an accident like that, I would prefer to have the person responsible show remorse for their action. I know I would tell the owner, as well as offer something in attempt for forgiveness (and probably cry, I do not do well with dead animals).

Glad to hear about your miracle, EK5684.  I will have to let my husband know that the people probably appreciated him stopping instead of running off, like apparently a lot of people do. 

Yeah he was crying and so upset.  I forgot he's had a dog get ran over by a car himself, long before we ever knew each other.  And of course, seeing the owner balling didn't make him feel any better. 

I have had 2 pets run over and killed.  I had an outside cat, so at some point, it was bound to happen, but unfortuanately, she wanted it to be that way.  In and out all the time.  The guy that hit her actually stopped.  It was dusk out and he came up to my door, knocked and told me what happened.  I was completely devastated and crying, but told him thank you for letting me know and that I appreciated that more than he could know.  We could take care of our baby.

The other one, my kids opened the front door and the puppy (3 months old) came barreling out the door and across the street to be with me and my neighbor.  The guy actually swerved to purposefully hit her and then kept going.  He drove by our house all the time.  The cops said there was nothing they could do about it, so needless to say, he got yelled at by us and all of our neighbors each and every time he drove by.  COMPLETE JERK!  My poor kids had to watch their new puppy get taken to the hospital bleeding, with her leg almost ripped off and couldn't even say goodbye to her. 

Not mad at all in the first situation, but FURIOUS at the second a$$hat!

I have had many dogs in my life.  Plus cats, chickens, rabbits, pigs and a couple of goats.  It is the animal owners responsibility to ensure that the animal stays safely out of the road.  This was NOT your husbands fault and you owe them nothing.

But if you want to extend sympathy, do.  Just don't expect a polite reception.  Not everybody is willing to accept their responsibility in things like this.

I'm so sorry that happened, hcannon. I agree, your husband is not to blame.

If my dog were hit and killed, the most comforting thing for the driver to do would be to give me a nice card, saying that they are truly sorry. I would also find it very touching if they included a printout of the Rainbow Bridge poem in the card - that thing always touches me and makes me bawl like a baby!

My dog was hit by a car. I think it was a hit and run, can't remember. All we could think about was our dog being gone, not about who's fault it was (besides, my bro stilll blames himself for it, 15years later).

Take it from me, a sincere apology can go a long way.

I just wanted to say to ANYONE who has an 'outside' cat - keep then indoors!  I don't care if they 'want' to be outside or not.  My cats 'want' to be outside too, but they don't get to go out unless it's with supervision the entire time they're outside.  Dogs occasionally roam our neighborhood and I would be beyond devastated if one of our babies got killed by a dog or hit by a car knowing I can prevent it just by keeping them inside.

It's not that hard, just don't let them go outside!

Original Post by fluffydragon:

I just wanted to say to ANYONE who has an 'outside' cat - keep then indoors!  I don't care if they 'want' to be outside or not.  My cats 'want' to be outside too, but they don't get to go out unless it's with supervision the entire time they're outside.  Dogs occasionally roam our neighborhood and I would be beyond devastated if one of our babies got killed by a dog or hit by a car knowing I can prevent it just by keeping them inside.

It's not that hard, just don't let them go outside!

 I agree a thousand percent.

I have had so many friends who keep having outdoor cats..and keep losing them to cars, coyotes, etc.

How many dead cats does it take, people?

 

a cat that's not an active part of the food chain is not a cat. it's a throw cushion. a shedding, puking, walking-on-the-counter-with-its-disgusting-ca t-litter-paws throw cushion.

 

for the record, i do not have a cat.

Original Post by fluffydragon:

I just wanted to say to ANYONE who has an 'outside' cat - keep then indoors!  I don't care if they 'want' to be outside or not.  My cats 'want' to be outside too, but they don't get to go out unless it's with supervision the entire time they're outside.  Dogs occasionally roam our neighborhood and I would be beyond devastated if one of our babies got killed by a dog or hit by a car knowing I can prevent it just by keeping them inside.

It's not that hard, just don't let them go outside!

 The only cat I'd deign to have is one that stayed outside and kept pretty much to itself. And those are the only types of cats I've ever had. They wander up and won't leave, so I get them spayed/neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed, give them food, pet them occasionally, and hope they go away soon. I figure my method is better than taking them to one of the local shelters where they often either wouldn't accept animals or took them and put them in line for immediate termination. And the only two shelters within any reasonable distance were overrun and others wouldn't take animals from outside their zip code.

Honestly, keeping one outside cat was a great decision. It kept the other cats away.

HOWEVER, in my line of work (or the line of work I'm in school for), I absolutely love cat-owners. They'll account for the biggest part of my business, if current trends are any indicator.

Original Post by pgeorgian:

go talk to them, tell them how sorry you are about their loss, but don't accept blame. the dog shouldn't have been running loose, and the owners have to take responsibility for that.

 This.   My hubby killed a pup last year -after we had both talked to the owner to keep the dogs (multiple) up.  He felt terrible but the dogs should not be loose.

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