NIPPENOSE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- What should you do when you come upon an animal in distress?
An official with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and has some answers.
"First thing, you call 911 if it's an emergency, if it's a person. If it's animal-related, then attempt to call the Pennsylvania Game Commission," said Pennsylvania Game Commission Law Enforcement Supervisor Rick Macklem.
According to the Game Commission, there are a few professionals who, under law, are allowed to euthanize a wounded animal, but most of us should be calling for help.
"I do not recommend for an individual to take it on their own and just by chance, they have a firearm to, you know, go out and euthanize the animal," Macklem.
Macklem tells Newswatch 16 the law is set in place for the safety of people and animals.
"An individual may think it's critically injured when maybe it's just stunned or something. That's when it may be best to have a professional look at the circumstances and make those decisions."
Macklem says if drivers are found to have put down the animal on their own, they could face fines and in some cases, have their firearms taken away.
"A lot of the cities, boroughs may have ordinances where it's unlawful to discharge a firearm for other reasons other than hunting," Macklem said. "So, safety is a main concern."