Issue: You invite friends for the weekend, and they unexpectedly bring their dog.
What to do: If someone shows up with a pet in tow―never having mentioned the possibility―you’re justified in asking that he be taken to a kennel. “Ideally, make sure you discuss your plans beforehand,” says Quasha. And if you want to suggest subtly that your friend ought to leave Bruiser at home, remind her that he may be happier that way, since he won’t be able to join in the activities you have planned.
Issue: Cats and dogs that dart out in front of your car.
What to do: “If you strike a cat or a dog, pull over and call the police or animal control immediately,” says Angeli. Some police officers are trained to deal with accidents involving pets, so they can check the animal and will know whom to contact next―a veterinarian, an emergency animal hospital, or the local Humane Society. Unless you are an expert, it’s best not to tend to an injured animal yourself―it will be scared, and you could get hurt.
If the pet has a collar and you can safely read the identification tag, call the owner. Let her know you’ll do whatever you can to help, suggests Quasha: “Hitting or killing someone’s dog by accident will not be solved by saying the right thing―there is no right thing to say. Offer your help, even if it’s just simple support.”