As drivers, it's quite enough to have to deal with all the OTHER people driving their vehicles on the roadways in West Texas. Whether it's a highway, a thoroughfare in a business district, or a neighborhood residential street-the last thing we want or need is a test of our reflexes at night when there's an animal that runs in the roadway off-leash. Such was the case last night for me, coming back from a late evening Pharmacy run to pick up some cold medicine before bedtime. About a block into turning down a neighborhood street (and there aren't a lot of street lights in our subdivision, which is odd considering it was all built in 2014)... So it's not the easiest to see. Thankfully, I'm not one of these youngsters who likes to speed thru here with their Mustangs testing how loudly they can make the engine rev as they drive past my house (no bitterness-really!). So I was going about 30 miles per hour.

THAT allowed me to slam on my brakes in enough time to avoid hitting your dog because he was off-leash walking down the street with you. I am a dog owner. And even though I KNOW my dogs obey me-I would NEVER walk a dog in the neighborhood (or anywhere else for that matter) without a leash. First of all it's illegal. Second-it's for their protection just as much as it is for yours and everyone around. You may THINK you have control of any situation that arises. I promise you-a stray dog comes walking down the block and sees you and your dog and takes off like a bullet towards you--you're done. There's no way to stop what's about to happen (Unless you're the bionic woman).

So EVERYONE do the right thing-and leash your pets before you leave the house. So no one has to suffer the consequences when trouble arises.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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