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pshizzle's avatar

Is it illegal to have a dog riding in the back of a truck?

Asked by pshizzle (1100 points ) February 18th, 2012

I was walking around an outdoor strip mall with my friend. As we were crossing through the parking lot, we saw a truck pass us by with a St. Bernard in the back, that almost flipped out the back of the truck because it was going insane. We went to go talk to the guy to inform him of our concern. We outright said, “we’re probably jerks for saying this, but your dog almost flipped out of the truck.” He went and tightened something in the back; (probably the thing holding his dog) and he rudely said, “he’s chained in, so mind your own business.” It was a single chain. The dog seemed aggressive, and wouldn’t stop barking, causing everyone to look and cause more commotion. This is Massachusetts, if that makes a difference with laws.

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13 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

It definitely isn’t in California.

Coloma's avatar

I’m in California too and I believe the dog is supposed to be secured in the truck bed, but, especially where I am in the rural foothills I see unsecured dogs in pick up trucks every day. I think the dogs should be harnessed and cross tied. Tying by the neck is just stupid and it’s very dangerous. Puttering up ones little road at 10 mph is not the same as bombing down the highway at 55–65 with an unsecured dog. I think it should be illegal.

john65pennington's avatar

Must be secured in the bed of the truck in Tennessee. I have actually observed a dog riding on top of the cab or a pickup truck. Citation!!

SpatzieLover's avatar

At least eight states have laws requiring owners to kennel or tether dogs or other animals that ride in a vehicle’s open areas, usually a truck bed, according to the Connecticut General Assembly. As of 2009, states with restraint laws include Connecticut, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island. Fines range from $50 to $200.

[Source]

jca's avatar

@SpatzieLover: Technically that dog the OP asked about was tethered. I agree it did not seem like a safe situation but it seems like it was within the law.

elbanditoroso's avatar

State law governs this.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jca I agree. I thought maybe the OP would like to read the law. It seems to me that this would be up to the responding officer (which I would have called) to determine if the dog owner had control of the dog or not.

Personally, I’d have taken down his plate number, found out where he lived and checked on how the dog’s cared for…but that’s another topic altogether

dappled_leaves's avatar

When I was a kid, one of my friends had a dog die because it was tied in the back of a pickup and jumped out when they weren’t paying attention. I wish people wouldn’t do this, regardless of whether it is legal or not.

YARNLADY's avatar

The proper way to tether a dog in a truckbed is to use a double tether so he can’t move to the edge either direction. The best way to transport a dog is in a kennel.

In California, the dog must be properly tethered, or in a kennel.

Hain_roo's avatar

“One can feel terribly helpless witnessing a loose dog in a pickup truck. The best course of action is to try to get the vehicle’s license number (if you can do so while remaining safe) and call the local police. Rather than dialing 911, Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations, suggests storing your police precinct’s phone number in your cell phone.” ASPCA

Here in FL I not only see dogs but people, all the time.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hain_roo Yes, and it is illegal for people to ride in any vehicle with out a seat belt. I once saw a man riding on top of a mattress in the back of a pick-up truck, when the mattress caught the wind and flew up, the man went flying a block away.

Hain_roo's avatar

@YARNLADY Oh no! I once saw a mattress fly up and rip off a roof rack and go flying.

College_girl's avatar

It needs to be everywhere. In my opinion it’s animal neglect. If they got into a car crash that dog would be killed. It really doesn’t help the dog much to be chained either because if the chain is too short, it will be choking the dog on every bump and turn. If it’s too long and there is a collision the dog will go flying and be snapped back by the chain most likely killing it or causing severe neck and body trauma

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