EDITORIAL: Where the pet meets the road

by May 30, 2014OPINIONS0 comments




I am a regular traveler on the Soco Road/US Hwy 19. It is a beautiful area filled with greenery, flowers and scenic vistas. The Soco Road, like many other roads in the mountains, is also subject to significant foot traffic of the four-legged type. It is common to see wildlife and pets that have met their end due to a run in the direction of traffic. While their deaths are tragic, it is not practical to attempt to control the movement of wildlife on the road. However, pets should be protected from the vehicles on our roadways.

Pets come in all shapes and sizes. The list of types of owners is almost limitless. There are snake handlers, turtle wranglers, bee keepers, dog lovers, those who tolerate cats, aviary managers, aquarium supervisors and the list goes on. The relationships with our animals range from species fascination to outright puppy love. We encounter animals, tame and wild, in nearly all aspects of our lives. As people who accept the pleasure of having animals in our lives, we also bear responsibility for their safety.

More importantly, a loose pet may endanger people that travel these mountain roads. I have witnessed drivers swerving into the oncoming lane or nearly over a bank to miss a dog, cat or box turtle. It is a natural, instinctive response to avoid taking life. Sometimes that instinct can cost a life instead of save it. There would be less chance of calamity if we would take more responsibility for our pets and keep them safely away from roadways.