Lifestyles

What should a driver do if they hit an animal?

What is the responsibility of a driver who hits an animal, let's say a dog or a cat?

If it is daylight, I could knock on a door to ask whom the animal belongs to, but what if it is late evening or after midnight? I can't see myself picking up a bloodied animal and putting it in my car to take to the SPCA — assuming it is open. I don't own a cell phone.

The BCSPCA advises that you should contact their cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 or local animal control so that someone may be dispatched to assist the animal.

While the BCSPCA does not provide animal control services in all communities in B.C., call centre operators do have access to animal control agency numbers throughout B.C. and may be able to provide some assistance albeit over the telephone.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advises that the actions which can, and ideally should, be taken are set out in the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program (WCPP) website.

If you collide with and kill a wild or domestic animal, you can report this to DriveBC on line as a non-emergency problem. They will notify the road maintenance contractor of the location and steps will be taken to remove the carcass on your behalf.

The Ministry of the Environment advises that it is a legal requirement to notify them of the killing or wounding of most larger wildlife. The report may be made through the Conservation Officer Service's Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277.

Finally, the police are available at all times and may be available to assist you, particularly where the animal is injured and needs to be destroyed.

For more information about this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.