It’s not an entirely uncommon thing to see a confused pet running loose in the street as a frantic owner works feverishly to lure them away from traffic.
But, with this morning’s tragic turn of events in which a local woman was killed while attempting to catch a pony that had broken free, officials are offering tips and reminders for dealing with such a dangerous scenario.
According to Animal Friends of the Valley Executive Director Willa Bagwell, the most important thing to remember is prevention.
“People need to make sure their pets are secure, especially on busy roadways,” Bagwell said.
But, accidents do happen and when they do, Bagwell said that pet owners should shadow the pet not chase it.
“Track them, but don’t chase them because then (the animal) will just run. It’s so frightening for the animal,” she said.
Treats will also work to lure the animal out of harm’s way, if a pet owner should have them on hand, Bagwell said.
Motorists should avoid honking their car horns, as it will only make the animal more afraid and likely to run, she noted.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Carapia reminded drivers that safety comes first.
“Public safety is always at the forefront. If you’re on the freeway or a busy roadway and an animal is running loose, lower your speed and proceed with caution. You may even want to put your hazard lights on to warn motorists of (the situation) ahead,” Carapia said.
For dire circumstances where the animal is out of control and the safety of motorists or pet owners is at risk, Carapia said to call 911 so that law enforcement and animal control officials can help retrieve the pet safely and without any harm to drivers or pedestrians.
Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Southwest Riverside News Network. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.