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updated 12/10/01
Thousands of cats and dogs victims
of hit and run drivers each year

MILLIONS of cats and dogs have been hit by cars an many thousands have been left on the roadside as motorists simply drive off without checking to see if the animal is alright, according to a new survey by Direct Line Pet Insurance.

The findings reveal that 1 in 5 drivers (21%), around 6.3 million, have admitted to knocking a cat or dog down whilst driving in their car and a quarter of those (25%), around 1.5 million, have admitted to just driving off leaving the animal there.

Despite this, 9 out of 10 motorists (91%) said that if they hit a dog in the future they would report the accident to the police. However, only 5 out of 10 drivers (54%) would report the accident if it involved a cat. This figure is made more worrying as experience shows that cats are more than twice as likely to be injured in a road accident than a dog.

Difficult

In addition, Direct Line's own claims database shows that injuries suffered by an animal in a road traffic accident result in medical treatment costing 30% higher than any other veterinary bill.

Chris Price, Pet Business Manager at Direct Line, said:

"As the nights draw in and driving visibility reduces, the chances of your dog or cat being hit by a car increase considerably.

"Whilst it is difficult to totally safeguard against your pet being involved in a road traffic accident having your animal properly identified will increase the chances of you being reunited with your pet. Furthermore insuring your pet means that they can receive all the medical treatment they need without you paying for hefty vet bills."