Failed to rescue dog or cat running

What is the risk for those who run away with an animal? Not providing help, not calling the veterinarian or authorities can be a crime if failure to help results in the death of a dog or cat.

It has a crime Failed to rescue an injured dog or cat? Many motorists ask this question, who often, in confusion or speed, “puts animals crossing the road under cars.”

The question arises not only for dogs, but also for other animal species. Not all of them though. For example, in the case of a rat or wild boar there is no liability which we will see below.

LawFailure to rescue a run-over animal, Which in itself constitutes an administrative offense, however, can also detest criminal law if it causes death. But let’s move on.

Run over a dog or cat and run away: Administrative responsibility

The law provides liability for whom He ran over a dog and ran away. In particular, Article 189 of the Highway Code establishes that anyone who causes an accident at his own risk and, as a result, invests in a pet (dog or cat), income animal (horse, cow, pig, etc.). Or included in the protected species, has the following obligations:

  • Must be stopped immediately;
  • He must call the animal rescue authority (for example the ASL or the Forest Department, depending on where the accident occurred).

It is an administrative offense to punish anyone who violates this rule with fines ranging from 413 to 1,658 euros.

Approval begins when the investment is unintentional and completely random. Consider the case of those who, for example, cannot avoid a cat that, with a lightning-fast and unexpected shot, suddenly crosses the road.

The second obligation we have just listed is to provide assistance to the invested animal, to take all necessary measures to ensure timely intervention in the rescue, however, no one is responsible for the accident but any other driver in any case. Involved in this, even if it is not his fault. In addition, a lower fine of 83 to 331 euros is envisaged for these matters, in case of failure to provide assistance.

Run over a dog or cat and run away: criminal liability

Section 544-BIS of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for criminal offenses Animal killing – Sentenced to four months to two years in prison – Every time an animal dies Cruelty Or Without the need. According to the Supreme Court, the offense is not only active, but can also be configured with passive behavior: for example, those who do not help the injured dog or cat. Consequences: If it is true that failure to rescue the invested animal is only an administrative offense, if it results in death of the animal, then the offense is initiated.

Cassation said it clearly [1]: That motorist, After accidentally running over a petFailing, without any reason, to provide assistance, preventing other people from providing the animal with proper care, may be liable for the crime of killing the animal.

The The crime of killing animals It is considered to be configured whenever there is a behavior, even exclusive, that causes the death of an animal, either with cruelty or without necessity. In the present case, the judges considered the offense configured in the behavior of the defendant who, after accidentally hitting a cat while driving his own vehicle, failed to provide proper care to the animal, without any need or justification, to recover the cat and take it to the veterinarian. The owner of the animal was prevented from entering the yard where the incident took place, thus causing his death.

Who would you call if you hit a dog or other animal?

As expected, in the case Invest in an animal It is necessary to stop and immediately confirm the health status of the latter. After that, the responsible authority should be called which may be considered even if not identified by law: Ats, State Forestry Corps, Carabinieri, State Police or Municipality, Local or Provincial Police, Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Center or possibly a veterinarian’s office nearby.

Reimbursement of veterinary costs per invested animal

Who supports Costs for the veterinarian The individual has no right to recover the money spent on treating a stray dog ​​or a cat for treatment: he therefore has no right to do so. Return By state, municipality or any other administration.


[1] Cass. Sent n 29543/2011.

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