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Andi Elliott: Care About Your Dog? Then Don’t Let It Ride in a Truck Bed…

August 24th, 2009 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

A few weeks ago, I watched in disbelief as a dog fell out of the back of a pickup and was then run over by the rear tire. Incredible! For how many decades have I talked to people about the dangers of letting their dogs ride unprotected in the back of an open truck AND refused to adopt to them because of it. And now, for the first time, it happens right in front of me. I rushed to help the dog as it staggered to its feet with blood running out of its mouth. Fortunately, a vet hospital was just down the road.

For decades I have helped re-home dogs that have fallen/jumped out of truck beds. Too many times I have help scrape up bodies or assisted in rushing injured animals to the veterinarian. In one instance, as the dog was thrown into a ditch, the driver slowed momentarily and then sped off. A week later, while the dog was still recovering from his injuries, he shows up to claim his dog. Realizing that he was going to have to pay the vet bills…well, he changed his mind. Guess he didn’t want the dog that badly!

Another time, while returning to my car from shopping, I saw a couple trying to force a dog into the back of their truck. They kept throwing the dog in and he kept jumping out. I walked over and without saying a word, placed my hand on the bed of the truck…scorching hot metal. I then asked how they would like to have to stand on that. The owner put the dog in the back of the cab (where he should have been in the first place) and drove off.

How often do you see farm dogs in the backs of trucks while the vehicle is flying down the road? Dogs riding in the bed of pick-ups may seem to be enjoying themselves, nose to the wind, running around the truck barking and wagging their tails. BUT, just imagine what happens to them with a fast stop, a pot hole, or worse yet, a car accident.

We’ve all seen dogs lying in the back of trucks while the owners are shopping or in the local bar…left there in all types of weather. I’ve watched as they jump out and lie under the truck (not a safe place there) seeking protecting from the blistering sun or the bitter cold. There was one dog that I rescued from the Home Depot…it took a day or so locate the owner. She said that the dog often wandered away from the truck. It was about a year later when I saw an ad for the dog…they never found him this time. But what the heck…someone is always looking to give away puppies. You can always get another one.

We probably don’t have to have police conduct “dog safety checks” as they do in Vancouver to make sure that your dog is securely restrained even inside of your car. I think common sense would dictate that if you care about your dog, then you would make the effort to see that it traveled safely and was protected from the weather. But common sense seems to be “AWOL” … is there little wonder that so many states have passed laws against allowing dogs to be transported in this hazardous manner?

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