You are driving late at night in a safe but deserted neighborhood when a dog suddenly darts in front of your car. Though you slam on the brakes, you hit the animal. Would you stop to see how injured the animal was? If you did so and found that the dog was dead but had a name tag, would you contact the owner?
I'm of two minds about this one. My first reaction is to just keep on driving. I don't stop if I hit a squirrel or a bird that just darts out in front of my car. I feel a little bad about it, but if there was no way for me to stop safely, then that's the end of it. I write it off as a suicide and I'm done with it. A dog would be a different story. I mean, it's a dog. You can't just run down man's best friend and not feel some kind of remorse. As I said, my first reaction is to keep driving. And that's not because I wouldn't feel bad about hitting a dog. But the question that would constantly be running through my head is "how stupid is the owner?" Who just lets their dog run around in the middle of the night with no fenced yards or leashes?
I said I'm of two minds. The other mind has to consider, "What if it was my dog?" If someone ran over my dog (even though I was stupid enough to let my dog run free during the night) I'd want that person to at least call or knock on my door and tell me what happened. Otherwise I'm sure I'd end up spending a Saturday posting missing dog fliers all over town while sad music played throughout the entire scene. So yeah, I'd stop and check on the dog. And no matter what, if it had a tag, I'd contact the owner. Now, if it was a cat, no question. I keep driving.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.