Colorado driver receives animal cruelty warning after photos of him driving with a dog in the back of his pickup go viral
The image caused outrage from some sections online while others defended the driver claiming that the dog, which has been identified as an Alaskan Malamute, is naturally built to handle extreme temperatures.
A Colorado man was almost cited for violating a city ordinance on animal cruelty after some photos showing him driving a pickup truck with a dog in the back, exposed to heavy snow went viral. The image caused outrage from some sections online while others defended the driver claiming that the dog, which has been identified as an Alaskan Malamute, is naturally built to handle extreme temperatures.
KDVR reports that according to Aurora Animal Services, it is illegal to transport an animal without adequate shelter, regardless of the weather. Animal Services Officer Anthony Youngblood reportedly said that dispatch received multiple 911 calls from concerned citizens on October 10 after the photos went viral.
One of the callers had noted down the license plate number, allowing officers to track down the man responsible. The driver was reportedly let off with a warning.
Youngblood reportedly said that the driver told officers he actually had two animals in the back of the truck and both were secured with harnesses. According to the officer, the man was forthcoming and apologetic.
A woman in Aurora snapped these photos of a snow-covered dog riding in the back of a pickup truck this morning. @CSP_News says this driver could have potentially been cited for animal cruelty. What do you think? @KDVR pic.twitter.com/hFA9tPGulC— Evan Kruegel (@EvanKruegel) October 11, 2019
Youngblood also added that the man has received a warning for violating a certain city ordinance, which relates to animal cruelty. The ordinance forbids drivers from transporting animals "in such a manner as to permit injury to the animal".
Though the dog may have been secured and naturally resistant to cold, that doesn't mean it wasn't placed in danger by the driver's actions. The dog was reportedly exposed to freezing temperatures and in danger of suffering frostbite.
"That's just a recipe for disaster," said Dr. Missy Tasky, a veterinarian at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital. "It's just not an ideal situation for that guy."
"In that situation, where there's nowhere for him to go, it could be very problematic," Tasky told reporters, adding that the dog would have needed to move around in order to maintain body heat, which it was unable to do because of the harness.