By on August 23, 2009

Most dogs love to go for a ride. Perhaps it taps into their genetic hunting imperative. Maybe it’s a pack thing. One thing’s for sure: a dog would never question why it has to ride in the back of an open pickup truck. Nor, unfortunately, do hundreds of thousands of pickup-driving dog owners. The Utah Humane Society estimates 100,000 dogs die every year from jumping out of moving trucks. At least as many dogs are seriously injured. And the number of chronic ear and aggravated eye injuries is even greater. So stand back, fellas. I’m going to pour some hate on owners who think man’s best friend should ride in the back of the truck.

Why guys want to take their faithful companions on a trip where Spot gets the third class truck bed seat is a mystery that rivals why moronic “Reality TV” producers don’t go to jail for the wholesale slaughter of viewers’ IQs. When I’ve asked owners about the practice, their answers tend to fall into one of three categories: “who the hell are you to tell me how to take care of my dog,” “he loves it” and “it’s a dog.”

The first answer reflects a misplaced love of freedom; the freedom to raise an animal any way they damn well please (unlike the restrictions placed on their children), without some stranger/cop questioning their methods. Even more basically, it’s the freedom to let their dog live as they wish they (the owner) could: wild and free. In the moment. Without worrying about danger. Or lawsuits. Or, let’s face it, responsibility. Which is where the “right” to stick a dog in the back of a flatbed falls down.

For one thing, Canada and the U.S. have democratically-enacted laws against animal cruelty. Our governments hold dog owners responsible for the health and well-being of their animals. While pickup truck owners don’t consider “Fido rides in back” dangerous and unhealthy, society does. And for good reason. According to Dr. Deb Zoran, a Texas A&M University veterinary professor, “There’s probably not a veterinarian in Texas who hasn’t treated a dog injured from riding in a pickup truck.”

A report in the Canadian Veterinary Journal reported that 21 of 70 dogs thrown out of pickups between 1982 and 1993 sustained multiple injuries. The other 49 had single injuries. An article in provides anecdotal evidence of what common sense suggests: “A Massachusetts SPCA worker claimed they saw an average of one dog a week with a spinal fracture or broken neck from falling or jumping out of the back of a truck. The vast majority had to be euthanized.”

By the same token, drivers are not “free” to drive down public highways with an unsecured load. At the risk of evoking nightmare images, what of the cars behind the pickup, when they’re suddenly faced with the prospect of a collision with a flying or bouncing dog?

But all this stuff about the “social contract” doesn’t register with guys who make their dogs ride in the back of their cherished truck. They’re in love. They see their animal leap into the back with primitive joy. They see the dog yelping with pleasure at passing canines. They get the love when the dog gets out. If the dog loves it, why not? After all, their dog has never jumped out of the truck when it’s moving, or fallen out when jostled. After all, if it had, they wouldn’t be doing it. Would they?

Sometimes I wonder. There are dog owners who simply don’t want to let a dirty dog into their clean cab. And then there are those who believe their canine should be treated as a semi-wild animal, rather than a cherished, fully-domesticated companion. They don’t want to “city-fy” their dog. If they take their dog hunting or working, their “tough love” philosophy may be even more virulent.

The “it’s a dog” defense is also an attack on dog owners who don’t really understand the profound connection between man and nature, dog and nature and man and dog. These canine carrying flatbed owners are proud that their animal is roughing it in the back. Danger is their business.

It can’t be said enough: dogs in the back of pickups is an inherently deadly business. (For the dog, not the irresponsible owner, of course.) And what of owners who park their pickup and leave their dogs in the back, out in the public, where a curious six-year-old is a tailgate leap away?

Some states, even rural ones, have taken action. Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Florida, R.I., Washington and Hawaii have cage and/or cross-tie truck bed rules. In California, Fido has to be belted-up inside the vehicle.

I’m not a big fan of the Nanny State. But if there’s some part of you that agrees that society has some obligation to protect our weakest members, I ask that you contact your local politicians with a simple e-mail, supporting laws to ensure dogs’ safety while riding in a pickup truck. A dog really is man’s best friend. It’s time for us to return the favor.

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56 Comments on “The Dog Days of Summer...”

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Good article, Dogs should either travel in a Harness attached to the Seat or a Dog Crate, people who carry dogs on the back of a Truck are really not doing the Dog or other people any favours, down right stupid and dangerous too.

  • avatar

    Almost as annoying, drop-kick foo-foo dogs riding on their driver/owner’s lap. Then again, I find most drop-kick foo-foo dogs annoying.

  • avatar

    “Dogs Love Trucks”, classic Nissan commercial.

    My dog(s) ride in the cab of my truck. Period. Were I to increase my pack they would all ride in secured cages in the back. End of issue.

    It’s stupid, stupid, stupid to leave an unsecured animal in the box of a truck. It’s trouble, especially with the vast majority of dogs being poorly trained, or not trained at all. Biting passerbys, jumping at other dogs or at prey are just many of the problems that could occur.

    The dogs only get to stick their noses out of the window when I’m travelling at less than 30 mph. I train my dogs extensively, and part of that includes being good travellers. My dogs lay quietly when we’re going any distance; it’s the law in my truck.

  • avatar

    Dogs in laps are way more dangerous. Especially when they are not little foo foo dogs.

  • avatar

    When I was young, I had a dog who would like to lean out the car window and bark. One day, fortunately I was in my subdivision doing about 10 mph, she got carried away and fell out the window. No harm done, but I learned my lesson. I have been very careful ever since. In a truck, the dog stays in the cab. In a car, the dog lays on a blanket on the back seat.
    I do roll the back window down partially, as my dog likes to stick her head out the car. Have the window lock on so she does not get her neck caught.

  • avatar

    I saw an older party (older than me, that is) driving his 1980 Thunderbird with both his hands on the wheel, and his little kick-me dog resting on his arms. Not the guy you want next to you in traffic….

  • avatar

    “I’m not a big fan of the Nanny State.”

    I have a hard time deciding which is worse, the regulations that are designed to restrain the raging idiots that seem to be everywhere or allowing those idiots to run wild.

  • avatar

    I just cant resist posting this editorial from today’s NYT. I was unaware of the scope of the problem, that’s a huge number of dead pooches.

    Jerry, I am curious what you think about some of the comments. Breeds are being treated as brands, an extension of the owner’s personality, rather than a loyal member of the family.

  • avatar

    I am not a fan of the Nanny State either. Glad I was still able to enjoy a nice ride in the back of a truck last weekend. Still 100% legal here in Arizona, and hoping (and voting) that it will always stay that way. Dogs are not ‘Members of Society’. They are pets.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    In Idaho, the dog rides in the airconditioned cab and the women ride in the bed of the pickup.

    Did I say something wrong?

  • avatar

    When I was in Little League the coach used to pick us up and take us to the game. We all rode in the back of the PU. About 16 kids, 10 years old, riding at 50mph in the bed of a PU.

    Thank God for some nanny state intervention.

  • avatar

    About a year ago, or so, I was filling up in a small, rural, out of the way area frequented by hunters. It was the sort of name on request convenience type store I often pull in to, with the notable exception that in addition to a 64 oz drink and a Smiley Sandwich, one could also buy rifle ammo, and fishing bait, too. If it were the 50s or early 60s, it would have been Willard’s Esso, I imagine.

    Anyhow, as I was beginning to pump, an unwashed, rather beat up GMC pickup pulled up at the adjacent pump. Two rougher looking characters deployed and proceeded into the store leaving unchained, in the back, a pit bull larger than nature intended. As I pumped, Cerberus paced up and down and back and forth within the confines of the open GMC bed, occasionally giving me a furtive look. Not packing myself, I wondered what I’d do if the beast went savage on me. The mind entertains strange thoughts in these sorts of moments, and I imagined myself dousing the semi-feral canine with unleaded, and then wishing I’d carried a Bic to finish off the deed.

    A short while later, the owners (whose combined IQ appeared to be about that of the dog) showed up, each carrying a suitcase of Bud Light. Don’t know if they bought ammo. I toyed with the idea of quipping, “Bud Light, eh? Don’t they sponsor the Gay Rodeo?” But then I’d have had to douse the owners too, and trying to explain this sort of thing to the local cops can get a bit messy.

  • avatar

    Hey Prado- It IS a pet, NOT property. If that’s all you care about it maybe it would be bettter off (and certainly safer) with someone else.

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    Let’s grant the message of the article but organizations like the Humane Society are notorious for inventing or cherry picking statistics.

    According to the aforementioned nanny state, there were 37,261 traffic fatalities in 2007. Dogs fall out of pickup trucks and die at a rate more than double the total traffic fatalities of people? Does this seem likely?

  • avatar

    The real issue is what a dog overboard can do to the vehicles behind it.

  • avatar

    So 9 states have laws protecting canine passengers but of course it is legal to kill the unborn human.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I knew that we had to make sure the government had one more task.

  • avatar

    I have seen dogs ride on (and fall from) trucks
    without boxes (just a flatbed).

    Thanks for the article. Path dependency and ignorance are the largest part of alot of problems, and a headsup article like this can really help.

    You can explain some of the stupidity of people
    with their pets as originating from Christianity,
    dominion over the animals and all that.

  • avatar

    Coming from a rural background I have to say that I would hate for any state to pass legislation preventing dogs from riding in the back of a truck. If your dog is prone to jump then tie him up but don’t get the government nannies involved. This is just another proposal for the government to micromanage our out lives.

  • avatar

    Instead of legislating animal rights or responsible precautions, I wish it were possible to legislate intelligence, logic or the ability to understand consequences.

    During the last five years, my dogs have never ridden unrestrained; that includes my current dog, who has logged approximately 10,000 miles with me this year. If they’re in the cab or passenger compartment they are always in a seat-mounted harness or a secured crate. For the rare times I’ve needed them to ride in the bed of the truck, they’re in a crate that is secured to the cargo hooks.

    My reasons for this are as much for my own protection as that of the dog. A pet should never interfere with the ability to drive safely, plus even a small dog becomes a projectile in an accident. I realized the wisdom of this a few months ago when I had to make an emergency maneuver at 70 mph and left the pavement for about a quarter-mile, coming to rest on an Interstate median. No damage to man, beast or machine, but the dog – secure in her harness – barely stirred from her nap, which would not have been the case had she been thrown about the vehicle.

    Finally, I have no desire to pay an unnecessary vet bill when the pooch gets injuries from falling out of a truck bed or slams into a dashboard or windshield…and I have even less desire to give out meds in the middle of the night because I allowed him or her to get injured.

  • avatar

    Dogs fall out of pickup trucks and die at a rate more than double the total traffic fatalities of people? Does this seem likely?

    I could see how it could be true. A dog can be killed without there having been an “accident”, simply by leaping or falling out of the vehicle. A dog being hit directly by a vehicle or falling out onto the pavement at a high rate of speed is directly suffering the impact without crush zones, airbags, seat belts, etc. to protect it.

    Keep in mind that most accidents don’t produce fatalities and that there are a lot of non-fatal accidents that are never reported or documented. (Think of that guy who dings your car in a parking lot and takes off as just one example.) The data on fatals is very accurate because almost all fatal accidents are investigated and well documented, but the information about minor fender benders, etc. is based upon estimates and can’t be as accurate.

    That being said, I would wonder how they got these figures. There can’t be a particularly good source for gathering the incident data — it’s not as if there is a pet fatality database or great recordkeeping system for this sort of thing — so it’s fair to wonder how anyone would know that these numbers are accurate. I’d like to see the methodology.

  • avatar

    Drivers behind a pickup from which comes an airborne dog can be made to overcorrect, maybe even flipping their car or going over the median into oncoming traffic; thusly killing themselves or others in spectacular fashion.

    For this reason alone, dogs should be secured like any other cargo. Violations should carry jail time (for the driver, not the dog!).

    One thing not mentioned in the prior posts here: The dangers of airbags to the body of a dog, especially an unsecured dog bounding around in the cab or back seat of a car.

    I saw a young girl (probably around 18) who had unfortunately kissed the airbag when her boyfriend broadsided a car pulling out in front of them (not the boyfriend’s fault; he actually had the right-of-way and the other driver was an unfit driver).

    Her seat was probably positioned too far forward…or she didn’t have her seatbelt fastened (or correctly tensioned).

    Her face was so well tenderized from the rapid, close contact of the airbag, she was already starting to develop some massive bruises. I think she probably also had some broken facial bones.

    Now imagine what an airbag can do to your poor unconditionally-loving pooch!

  • avatar

    Yep. Here’s another possibility for the government to intrude in our lives.

    Sorry folks, how I treat any pet that lives with me is my business, and nobody else’s.

  • avatar

    There are undoubtedly many that view laws requiring seat-belt and child safety-seat use as a gross, unwarranted infringement on their freedom, as well.

  • avatar

    We could start the process with education.

  • avatar

    Sorry folks, how I treat any pet that lives with me is my business, and nobody else’s.

    That’s what Michael Vick thought, too.

  • avatar

    Riding in the pick-up bed is preferable to being dragged on a leash behind the truck.

    Ask Chevy Chase.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Our small breed pooch happily rides in the back seat wearing his $15 canine seat belt, secure in the event of an accident and launch-proof if we brake heavily.

  • avatar

    Pch101, I had the same thought about the accuracy of the figure — it sounds like one of those improbably round, scary numbers that emerges from time to time. (Like the “there are 50,000 child predators on the Internet” number that Dan Gardner tracked down in The Science of Fear.)

  • avatar

    By the same token, drivers are not “free” to drive down public highways with an unsecured load.

    That’s the bottom line right there. Secure your cargo, whether it’s a load of 2x4s or a dog. No loose objects in the bed.

  • avatar

    This is just another proposal for the government to micromanage our out lives.

    Yep. Here’s another possibility for the government to intrude in our lives.

    Sorry folks, how I treat any pet that lives with me is my business, and nobody else’s.

    Looked at another way, this is a proposal to keep your doggie out of my radiator. When Fido gets under my wheels, it becomes my business.

    I’d be happy to do without another regulation, if people would quit doing dumb things.

  • avatar

    Given that Europe and the U.K. have animal protection statutes that make ours (the U.S.’s) pale in comparison, I’d be interested in hearing how this is viewed on the other side of the pond. As an example, my dog’s tail is docked (cut off) as most terriers’ are in the U.S.; that’s not allowed in most of the E.U.

    You don’t want to know my thoughts regarding laws to prohibit humans riding in the beds of pickups. About 20 years ago I saw the results of an accident in which two compact pickups flipped, with five teens in riding the beds; none in the cabs were wearing seatbelts. In total, seven dead. Not a pretty memory, I can assure you.

  • avatar

    mor2bz said:
    “You can explain some of the stupidity of people
    with their pets as originating from Christianity,
    dominion over the animals and all that.”

    ZoomZoom said:

    “For this reason alone, dogs should be secured like any other cargo. Violations should carry jail time (for the driver, not the dog!).”

    I have a better idea, let’s take everyone that claims “well there just oughtta be a law, and put ’em in jail!” for non-violent offenses — let’s just get them there own little island made of Nerf where nobody ever gets hurt, shall we?

    And I just knew someone would have the lack of sense and anti religious snobbery to blame this on religion….. every thread has one.

  • avatar

    I saw one last Wednesday on I-95 that was eying the tarmac going by at 65 and looked like he was going for it. I waved the driver off the road and she reattached the collar he slipped out of. that would have been too much to watch.

    I had a Dalmatian leap out at 10 MPH from my truck on a short run across a yard. Lucky for him he landed on grass and was not injured. I learned my lesson just as he did.

    A 90 lb dog that lands in front of another car can cause a serious accident. Let’s not think about a bike hitting the dog either, especially since I was ON MY BIKE last Wednesday watching a Golden Retriever think about leaping out in front of me. Lucky for him I was able to actually pull up and yell at the driver and be heard.

    Keep the dogs secure or in the cab.

  • avatar


    “So 9 states have laws protecting canine passengers but of course it is legal to kill the unborn human.”

    And your point is? This topic’s about Rover not Roe vs Wade.

  • avatar

    Most PUs have high beds making them hard to load and unload. Almost all PUs here in Phoenix, pretend cowboy land, ride around empty.

    Lets give the owners credit for finding something that can jump up and load itself into the rear of a pickup.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    As far as I am aware, there genrally are laws in Europe that the dog either needs to ride in a certified and properly secured crate, or have a special harness, which gets attached to the safety belt – but in any case it needs to be secured. In reality ths is more often than not overlooked – speed is the only thing police is interested in.

  • avatar

    I’m a dog lover. I’m also a P/U owner. But this is how I feel about these types of legislation:

    You are legislating what COULD happen and not enforcing personal responsibility.

    Many of you claim “it becomes my business when your dog falls through my windshield…”. Well, of course. The law already makes me responsible. If it were a 2×4, a motorcycle, or my best friend (either canine or human), I am already responsible. I don’t need another law to make me so.

    Now if you (the law) are determining that no living creature should ride in the back “unsecured”, then say that and legislate and enforce THAT. Just remember the arguement about you kids in a school bus and your ride on the train and city bus.

    We don’t need more laws. We need smart laws and we need to enforce those.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I saw a pick-up truck here in Michigan, on I-96 near Lansing, where the owners had welded steel cages, which were then plugged into the truck’s tow-bar, bike-rack style. His beautiful hunting beagles were each in caged in that way. I had two thoughts: if he got rear-ended, those dogs were hash….not a great way to treat man’s best friend. He had a super-cab….why not let the dogs into the back seat?

    Other day, I saw a full-size mastiff stickin’ his head out of the sun-roof of a Mini. That owner defined idiot in my book.

    As a libertarian, I oppose the government telling me what to do with my life, my pets and my property. But libertarianism pre-supposes a certain degree of common-sense on the part of the masses, I suppose. Given the degree to which the liberals have dumbed-down our education system, I suppose we all need the government to tell us how to take care of our pets now. Sad.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Add common sense: My dog’s ride in my car only to the vet. the only dog’s that need to ride along to the store are service dogs.

    I never can quite understand why I see so many dogs in cars….

  • avatar

    Without specific laws there is no clear cut rule on responsibility. Thank lawyers on both sides for this.

    Common sense suggests the owner/driver is responsible for the dog’s actions but that’s not the case. If no law exists then there is nothing to be violated.

    Libertarians are fond of peeing all over laws in the name of freedom. That’s fine until we get into matters of responsibility in which the same individuals largely assume we live among responsible people. We don’t and the evening news provides proof of that.

    So let’s make it simple. Asking someone to secure their dog in a moving vehicle is not paramount to a police state. This is one rule we can all live with, especially dogs.

  • avatar

    I’m with Mark MacInnis; I just don’t take my dog too many places he can’t go on a leashed walk. I do drive him to my in-law’s houses (one within my subdivision, one about 10 miles away) for a run in a fenced yard.

    I never let him ride in the bed of the pickup. I doubt he would if I wanted him to. I admit I don’t restrain him inside the cab; he generally prefers to lay down on the floor between the front and rear seats. He doesn’t much like looking around and won’t stick his head out of the window. I used to encourage the sniffing but when he was just over 18 months old he once jumped out a half-open rear window while I was sitting at a stoplight. To this day I’m not sure how a (then) 75lb German Shepherd fit through a half-open rear window on a quad cab pickup and landed on his feet.

  • avatar

    @Mark MacInnis: …the only dog’s that need to ride along to the store are service dogs.

    I wish more people felt the same way about children. Honestly, I’d rather shop and dine in the company of some people’s dogs than their kids.

  • avatar

    About 3 years ago I saw a large dog leap through an open side window and land on the road in front of me. I stopped the bike and was able to calm the dog down on the side of the road while the owner got turned around. The dog had at least a broken leg and lots of damage from road rash. The fact he made it through that window surprised the shit out of the owner whose kids went nuts.

    Keep the windows closed enough so they can’t get through. Then you don’t have to worry about the laws because you won’t be violating them.

  • avatar

    I have, unfortunately, seen what happens when a dog leaps from a vehicle (it doesn’t matter what type) at highway speeds. Let’s just say that the forces involved are stronger than the forces that hold the dog together. The sight will live with me for the rest of my life. How anyone could risk even the remote possibility that this could happen is beyond me.

  • avatar

    Even with my libertarian thinking, I have to admit that sometimes the state has to put rules into place to protect us and our loved ones (whether human, canine or other) from our collectively foolish unthinking actions or lack of (correct) action.

    The comment about abortion was surely meant to indicate the irony of how our culture seems to NOT wish to protect some humans from being killed before they even get a life. Yet we’re not afraid to put laws into place to protect animals.

    Not that I don’t love my Newfoundlands, I surely do. In fact, it seems to me that they often are preferable company to many humans. And I have a barrier in the Prius to keep them fully in the back seat (yes, two Newfies DO comfortably fit in the back of a Prius, thanks for asking).

    “The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world – the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous – is his dog…. He will kiss the hand that had no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world…. When all other friends desert, he remains. – George G. Vest”

  • avatar

    I don’t want to get into name calling: Liberal, Conservitive, Libertarian…It’s not the point. There is nothing wrong with a trained dog in the back of a truck – just like an adult or a box of tools. Safetycrats be damned.

    I recognise the well meaning adversion to this. I applaud you on your concern for life.

    But the fact remains, if that animal falls out of my truck (or that person or that toolbox), myself or my insurance company will be held responsible.

    And, I will be responsible to my family for the loss of our beloved pet (or to the family of the human).

    Until the law proscribes the same overzealous safety standards to taxis, buses and trains – stay out of my PickUp.

  • avatar

    Having ridden in the back of a pickup when much younger (and dumber), I have a feel for how easily a dog could be thrown. But, like other’s above, I’m skeptical about Humane Society stats regarding the extent of this problem.

    Is this a problem that needs a law?

  • avatar

    Put down the pen. We have too many un-enforced laws as it is…

    Yes, I love dogs. Usually more than most people. But you really cannot legislate ignorance out of society.

    Education is the key. We don’t teach common sense in school or in the home.

    For example, I see many teen girls use the dash as an ottoman. Comfortable? Yes. Safe? Hell no.
    Even when a crash doesn’t have enough force to affect the cabin, it can release a passenger airbag with plenty of force required to drive those pretty knees thru that pretty skull. If this same girl would have seen footage of a crash-test-dummy in this position hitting a wall @ 25mph would she still do it? Hopefully not. Do we show these videos in schools. Nope. Too scary.

    As a society, we want to shelter ourselves from graphic images, and as a result fail to correlate our actions with potential results.

    “This is your dog. This is your dog on the road after being ejected from your truck bed….any questions?”

    Those who can’t be reached by this type of education won’t be deterred by laws either.

    You can’t fix stupid.

  • avatar

    I have to admit, greenb1ood, that you’re absolutely right. ” You can’t fix stupid. ” Folks who ” can’t learn ” – won’t learn. There’s always some like that in the human race. Even some with supposedly high IQ’s.

    More laws truly won’t help – in fact, we already have way too many.

    You are also correct in stating that real education is pretty much the only means of getting common sense to come through and stick in the minds of people as they live their lives.

    I’d personally love to see better education and fewer laws, but given that – we also must see people held responsible for their actions. Instead of being given a “free pass” for their skin color, or their accent, or their sexual preferences, or their wealth, or their job (police, politician).

  • avatar

    You can explain some of the stupidity of people
    with their pets as originating from Christianity,
    dominion over the animals and all that.

    The Bible commands us to protect the world we are given not destroy it. Yes, I do recognise a difference between animal and human life, that doesn’t mean that I don’t value animal life. I actually feel a greater responsibility to protect an unknowing dog than a human that should know better and can make its own decision.

  • avatar

    I am still amazed (but shouldn’t be) at the misconceptions some people have about Christianity. Most references to mans proper treatement of animals in the Bible are from the Old Testament, and therefore are applicable to the Jewish faith as well. Most of what scripture says in regards to ones treatment of animals can be found in the book of Proverbs:

    “A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.”
    Proverbs 12:10

    “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”
    Proverbs 27:23

    The Sabbath day itself was not only for humans to rest. God also commanded us to give our (work) animals rest on the same day. (Exodus 20:10).

    Animals are to be used for food and clothing and to be kept as pets, but not to be abused and treated cruelly for ones pleasure or (when domesticated) to be neglected.

  • avatar

    +1 Windswords

    In addition, Adam was comanded to take care of the Garden of Eden (“dress it and keep it” in the King James Version). And, apparently before the fall of man into sin, no animals had been killed. It was mans sin that required the killing of animals (for clothing in that instance, though also as a sign of the death brought into the world by man’s sin). There are many other instances in the Bible that demonstrate how mankind should treat animals, but the last one that I will add is Psalm 23 where it describes the Lord as a shepherd. If the Bible is anti-animal/earth, why would there be so many examples where good treatment of animals is described as virtuous?

    The original question raised here, however, is should the government regulate the safety of pets? Or, is this a purely phillosophical or religious matter? While I think very poorly of people who show a remarkable lack of intelligence in how they treat their animals, I don’t know that allowing the animal to engage in risky behavior (failing to protect it from itself) should necessarily be a crime. Obviously, if failing to secure the animal causes damage to someone’s property or person, the animal’s owner is responsible for the damages. But, failing to properly (intelligently) secure your dog is hardly the same as Michael Vick drowning a dog or hanging it from a tree to kill it, two examples of animal cruelty where the perpetrator actively attacked the animal, which I do believe should be criminal.

  • avatar

    But the fact remains, if that animal falls out of my truck (or that person or that toolbox), myself or my insurance company will be held responsible.

    And, I will be responsible to my family for the loss of our beloved pet (or to the family of the human).

    Gee, that’s swell. Good to know that if your dog takes it into his head to jump out and flies through my windshield, killing me, you’ll feel really bad and pay for the loss to my family. Hey, I’ve got an idea – why don’t you just secure your damned dog and keep him and me, and everybody else safe? I’ll stay out of your pickup when I can be sure all your stuff will stay in your pickup.

  • avatar


    Yes, the government has a say in regulating the securing of pets in moving vehicles. As a famous president once said “Government exists to protect men from each other, it’s when government protects us from ourselves it overreaches”

    If your dog fell out on a deserted road it would be cruel to the dog and you’d be sorry it happened. But unless you can guarantee someone else won’t be behind you when Fido decides to jump out then: (turn up the volume a bit)


    But since we have an idea that we are entitled to do whatever we want then maybe a law will get your attention.

    I think @Kurt never rode a motorcycle behind a truck with unstable cargo, including canines. He’d have a different take on this subject if he did.

  • avatar

    Sorry folks, how I treat any pet that lives with me is my business, and nobody else’s.…

    Bullshit it is. A pet is a living thing that is dependent on you to make every reasonable effort to protect it. Its not an old washing machine. If you have such callous indifference, you shouldn’t own a pet. One would think extra laws aren’t needed. Common sense and compassion should be enough. Cold and heartless statements like this make me think otherwise. At one time there were no laws to protect children, either.

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