Letters to the Editor

Letter: Unsafe practice

May 17, 2014


To the editor:

When I saw the photo in Tuesday’s Journal-World of the dog riding on the back of a pickup, I was alarmed.

That is extremely dangerous for the dog. If the man had to stop suddenly (which is not out of the question), the dog could go flying out of the back of the pickup from his precarious position onto the ground and into incoming traffic. I have seen it happen.

I did see that the driver of the pickup was using his seat belt. Too bad he did not think of the safety of the dog as well.


Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years ago

Not likely. If the truck stopped suddenly the dog would slide forward in the truck bed, possibly slamming into the cab of the truck. The seatbelts are to keep the driver and the front seat passenger from hitting the steering wheel and dash, respectively, not the seat back.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

Being of a curious mind I did some research on this and found this information from what I consider to be a reputable source.


Deacon, a 12-week-old Shepherd/Husky cross puppy, broke his leg after he fell from the back of a truck. His guardian surrendered Deacon to the Trail Branch of the BC SPCA -- his leg was plated and pinned at a cost of $1,625.

Every year countless animals are badly injured or lose their lives because they were not properly restrained in a vehicle. Dogs riding in the back of pick-up trucks are particularly at risk.

The law: It's against the law. Section 72 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the transport of an unsecured pet in the back of a pick-up truck. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act you can also be charged for cruelty to animals if your pet is injured

Sam Crow 4 years ago

You have too much free time on your hands.

Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years ago

I wasn't trying to say that it wasn't dangerous for a dog to be in the back of a truck--just that it doesn't happen the way that the letter writer stated. Leslie, the SPCA story about Deacon doesn't say what caused the dog to fall.

If the bed of the truck is wider than the cab and the dog is facing forward with its paws up in one of the front corners, a sudden stop could throw the dog forward and out of the bed of the truck.

The dog could be seriously injured from hitting the cab in a sudden stop. Probably most other situations result from the dog panicking and jumping.

The laws of physics must be obeyed.

Don Brennaman 4 years ago

The odds are probably 1000% greater that someone will be rear-ended while their lapdog is between the "loving" owner and the steering wheel. Top that.

Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years ago

Here again the dog would be in much more danger if driver is rear-ending the car in front. If you are being rear-ended you are being thrown against the seatback and the dog against you. It is with the sudden stop that driver and dog are thrown into the steering wheel.

When you are rear-ended is when the whiplashes occur. Your head is thrown backward where there is no seat back to stop it. About whiplashes, don't let anybody tell you that they completely go away. I still get pain when doing certain things. My whiplash was in 1973.

4 years ago

If you put your dog in the back of a pick up, it's just a matter of time before an injury will occur. Could be a bad injury or not. It's comparable to what is said about riding a bicycle...sooner or later some type of accident will occur....

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

When I was much younger, in the 1960s, both kids and dogs very often rode in the back of pickup trucks, bigger trucks as well sometimes, no one gave it a second thought, and I was the only person I knew that always wore a seat belt.

We had a small dog, a Dachshund, and she loved to ride in the back of the pickup, with her paws on the side, and looking out and seeing everything. She was too small to jump up into the bed of the pickup, so we lifted her into it. And when we opened the door of the truck box, she would jump right down. Until one day, anyway.

Snoopy had her paws on the side of the pickup box, looking out, and fortunately for her, the pickup was traveling only about 45 mph. She saw something exciting, and she jumped out!

She hit the ditch, and being a Dachshund, she rolled like a log. Luckily, she was only shaken up. But she was very different about riding in the pickup bed after that. She would still put her paws on a wheel well so she could see out, but on the side of the truck box if it was moving? No way.

And, when we opened the back of the pickup to let her out, Snoopy wouldn't jump out anymore. No way. We had to lift her out every time.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

The law: It's against the law. Section 72 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the transport of an unsecured pet in the back of a pick-up truck. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act you can also be charged for cruelty to animals if your pet is injured.

You can be fined and/or arrested if a cop sees you doing this. I have saw pickups pulled over with dogs in the back. This law is like seat belt laws, it is going to be enforced more and more.

Brock Masters 4 years ago

What law are your citing? I googled the one in your post and it was a Canadian law. Not applicable in the US.

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