In Parker, Colorado, the photo of a dog lying in the bed of a snow covered pickup truck quickly went viral; the comments largely critical as social media swiftly reacted.
According to KdvrNews, the photo was taken on Thursday morning by a woman who had been traveling on Parker Road near Interstate 225 in Aurora. Weather reports stated outside temperatures were at 16 degrees with a windchill around 0.
Colorado law states it is legal for a dog to be in the back of a pickup truck even when the tailgate is open, however it is illegal to transport an animal without adequate shelter. The Colorado State Police were able to track the man from his license plate numbers.
When stopped, the driver admitted to carrying two animals in the back of the pickup truck, but was very apologetic to authorities. The following limitations do apply:
Open vehicle. No person who owns or has control of any animal shall allow such animal to ride in any open motor vehicle or vessel in such a manner as to permit injury to the animal. For purposes of this subsection, the operator of a motor vehicle shall be deemed to have control of any animals riding therein. Factors to be considered by the court shall include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) Transporting any animal in an open truck or any motor vehicle or vessel in such a manner as to permit an animal to jump or be thrown therefrom by acceleration of, stopping of or accident involving the vehicle.
(2) Weather conditions and temperature of the vehicle.
(3) Tethering or securing any animal in such a way that it may be thrown from the vehicle by acceleration of, stopping of or accident involving the vehicle.
The driver was issued an animal cruelty warning. It is interesting to note, the breed of the dog identified as a malamute, is able to withstand extreme cold, but as with people, the dogs are subject to frostbite.