Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs)

We all try hard to keep our pets safe but road traffic accidents do happen.

What to do if you witness or are part of a RTA?


  • Think of your own safety first and is the road safe to stop and assist on?
  • Beware this animal will be in shock and may bite or scratch.
  • If you think there are any broken bones then lift the animal using something flat e.g. towel, cardboard.
  • Keep this animal warm.
  • Stop any heavy bleeding by applying pressure to the area.
  • Get to your nearest vets ASAP.

A few facts:

  • Road traffic accidents are the biggest single cause of fractures in pets (
  • Young cats between the age of 7 months and 2 years have the highest rate of accidents and male cats are at greater risk than females.
  • Accidents occur at all times of the year but there is a tendency for more incidents to happen at night. (Protecting cats from traffic accidents – Dr Irene Rochlitz –
  • Data from PDSA pet insurance reveals that during winter the average veterinary costs for dogs involved in RTA’s can be at least 50% higher than these in summer. Averaging over £1000 (

There are also a few useful app’s if you find yourself not knowing who the nearest vets are. You can do this by typing into the app search engine ‘Find a Vet’ and downloading one of the free apps which enables you to find a vet closest to you anywhere in the UK.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 says….

Accidents involving the following animals Dogs, Goats, Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Horses, Asses and mules should be reported to the police. You should exchange details with the owner of the animal. If this is not possible then you must report the accident to the police within 24hours.