Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's So NOT Cool!

On my way to work I saw this truck driving on a busy state road doing about 55 mph. Two happy unfastened boxers bouncing around in the bed. It made me want to open my own can of road rage whoop ass!

What the hell? How can you think this is safe? I am guessing they don't? Am I being too optimistic? Are they trying to look like a cool farmer? (If so they do know that these are boxers,not exactly farm dogs)? Why would you put your dog in the back of a truck and drive on a busy road?

I live about three miles away from where I took this, (for the record I was stopped at a stop sign, that they blew through).

I have clients who drive their dogs to the clinic in the bed of their trucks routinely. What do I do about it? Well, I beg, plead, and make a royal fool of myself, trying to convince them that I have seen too many pets get killed, maimed, broken into pieces, lose function of their limbs, or cause another automobile accident.

So, If I fail to convince them that the horrors I have seen from dogs being hurt can happen to them, I have no shame in  lowering myself from pleading for their own pets lives, to reminding them that their poor decision making skills can cause the loss, or injury, of another human being.

What would happen if your dog fell (because every truck-bed-carrying person proclaims under oath of god that their "dog would NEVER jump out of the truck"..note to self; start collecting affidavits from the dog owners who carry their "He never did that before" dogs into our clinic) and the person behind you or around you swerved to avoid hitting them and they got into an accident? Guess who would be taking a trip to court? And how could you live with that?

As I drove behind this truck I kept a safe 200 foot distance. I know dogs. I promise I know dogs better than the owner of that truck does. They will and do, jump out at wildlife or other dogs that they see, or at a stop because they think you are at their destination, or they jump up on the wheel wells and fall out. The list of crazy fluke things that happen goes on and on.

I decided to do a little research to see if, who, and what, the laws for this are.

Turns out there are some states that do have something on the books to protect pets, but not many. Here's the tiny list of information that I found;

From the USAToday, laws for dogs in cars article I found;

Only a few states have passed legislation requiring animal restraints in moving vehicles, and in some of those states laws apply only to animals riding in the exterior of the vehicle, such as the bed of a pickup, according to AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association.
In New Jersey, under state law, NJSPCA officers can stop a driver they believe is improperly transporting an animal. Tickets range from $250 to $1,000 per offense, and a driver can face a disorderly person's offense under animal-cruelty laws.
Hawaii explicitly forbids drivers from holding a pet on their lap. In Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, distracted-driving laws can be used to charge drivers with pets on their laps.
In Rhode Island, Democratic state Rep. Peter Palumbo has proposed legislation to make having a dog in your lap a distracted-driving violation after a complaint from someone who witnessed a driver, whose view was blocked by a lap dog, change lanes.
At the website, NOLO, I found that "California, for example, requires dogs in the open back of a pickup to be either in a cage or cross-tied to the truck unless the sides of the truck are at least 46 inches high. The laws don't apply to cattle or sheep dogs being used by farmers and ranchers. Violators can be fined $50 to $100 for a first offense and up to $250 for a third offense. (Cal. Vehicle Code sections 23117, 42001.4.)" Nolo, Dogs in vehicles.

eHow, Laws on pets in cars

OK, here's my last bone to pick for the day.

My sister was telling me months and months ago about this "great new show on Animal Planet where some guy goes and humanely catches and relocates wildlife." He had become so popular at the school she teaches at that the kids were all known to say "Live Action!" for any kind of exciting scenario. She was touting how wonderful the show was because this guy was so kind and compassionate. So I ordered Animal Planet and started watching the "Call of the Wildman" series. There is a reason I do not watch too many pet shows. First I tend to pick them apart with my "That's not what really happens!" cynicism, and who wants to watch tv with a person like that? Second, I get pissed off at people who I think are protraying themselves as one thing and behaving differently. me old "Acta Non Verba" soliloquy. Mr. Wildman travels to catch his vermin. How does he travel? You guessed it, in a tiny beater pick up hyper, pacing, pitching, thrashing border collie in the back. Traveling down back roads, interstates, no matter, that dog, hos faithful sidekick is in the back.

ARGH!!! Be the light, be the mentor, be your dogs watchful loving caretaker.

And just to be honest and be held accountable for my own actions. My three dogs go to work with me everyday. I work 8-12 hour days and that is much too long for them to be left alone, especially my
17-1/2 year old Savannah who needs to eat and go outside for bathroom breaks every 3-4 hours.

They are all kept in the back of my SUV. Big bed and nets to hold them in. I also always have leashes with them, and they are all microchipped. If we ever got in an accident they can be held by their leashes and they are very very obedient.

Left to right: Jekyl, Savannah, Charlie, and Cora (visiting for that week).
Jeeps have safety nets that go across the back and front of the back cargo area.
 It keeps the puppies from jumping into the back seat,
and Savannah from falling out the back when the lift hatch opens.
There are also hooks in the floor to tie a leash too.
These are used for any long highway trips.

If you have any questions, or comments to add to this, or if the picture above is your car and you would like to provide me with an affidavit when something happens, you can find me @pawbly, @FreePetAdvice, at for any pet question, or here.

Be safe everyone!


  1. How about commenting about dogs sitting on the laps of their owners while the owner drives.

    An automatic reckless driving ticket when I see this.

  2. This drives me nuts too! Thanks for writing this. I'll be sharing it out.

    1. Thanks for reading!
      Maybe collectively we can help keep our pet safer by keeping them inside a car?

      Fingers crossed!

      Thanks for all that you do to help our dogs! I read your blog everyday!


  3. Krista, I must say after reading your blog for several weeks, you have become my hero! I like my vet a lot, but wish I lived close enough to go to you instead. You are wonderful and caring and doing a great service to pets and their families everywhere. Please say hi to your sister for me. All the best, Kim (Kantner) Harriss 'KP92