A frightening video of a Canadian driver transporting two dogs in the back of a pickup has caused a public outcry.
In the video, two large dogs are being transported on top of a bed cover of a pickup while the vehicle travels through fast-moving traffic.
The dashboard camera footage was posted to Facebook on Sunday and accumulated over 50,000 shares before being taken down. In addition to posting on social media, the owner of the video also reported the evidence to the Alberta SPCA.
The video footage allowed the animal welfare organization to open an official investigation. An Alberta SPCA peace offer tracked down the owner of the pickup and was in charge of ensuring the safety and well-being of the two dogs in question. The peace officer spoke with the driver and collected further evidence, and on Thursday, an official decision was made.
While thousands of people were calling for the driver of the vehicle to face criminal charges for endangering animals and reckless driving, the Alberta SPCA has announced no charges will be filed.
Communication manager for the Alberta SPCA Roland Lines said in a press release:
"We know many people will be upset with our decision. I have spoken to people who have witnessed the tragic outcomes that can result from unsafe transport, and I have received many messages demanding we lay charges. It is extremely frightening and frustrating to see animals transported in this manner, but that doesn't mean charges are appropriate. If the animals are unharmed and if the investigating officer is confident that the subject acknowledges their error and will act differently in the future, a court prosecution isn't necessarily warranted."
The local police force has also announced they will not be pressing charges. The peace officer involved in the case is confident the one-on-one discussion they had with the driver was enough to ensure the incident won't happen again. They reportedly spoke about the dangers of transporting animals in the back of pickup trucks and how leaving the dogs on top of the bed cover was especially irresponsible.
Despite the controversial decision to forgo legal action, the video and accompanying investigation has spurred a renewed urgency to educate the public on the safe transport of pets.
The SPCA strongly advises drivers to always transport their pets in the back seat of the vehicle. If the truck bed is the only option, animals should be kept in kennels and securely attached to the vehicle. For further questions, they encourage people to read their article on Traveling with Pets.
Have you seen drivers transporting dogs in the back of pickup trucks? Let us know in the comments.
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