Please do not travel with your dogs in the back of your pick-up truck.
At this moment, we have three dogs at Sammie’s Friends who have been seriously injured in and around the beds of pick-up trucks. I receive a call at least once a month from someone whose dog has fallen out of the back of the truck and hung himself, been drug or run over. Sammie’s Friends is called because the owner of the dog does not have the money to pay the veterinary bills for the dog.
Doja has a fractured pelvis and broken femur. She had a femoral head ostectomy to repair one leg and may need the same surgery on the other leg. Worse than all the money this costs is the unbearable pain these animals must endure. Even if the dog does not fall out, there are many reasons to not put your dog in the back of an open truck bed. This summer, with temperatures close to 100, I saw two dogs in the back of a truck in a parking lot with no shade sitting on a hot metal pick-up bed. Does that sound comfortable?
In the winter when the temperatures are near freezing I see pitbulls with hair shorter than a quarter-inch thick riding in open pick-up trucks. They are freezing cold. Even dogs with longer hair might not find this so much fun. With the wind blowing at 60 miles per hour and freezing temperatures, this is a very cold ride.
One of the dogs we have was put in the back of a truck on the second day the person owned the dog. Of course she fell out, probably never having been in a truck bed before. She belonged to an unemployed single mom of two children with another on the way. She couldn’t pay for what the dog needed. Sammie’s Friends has this dog. According to the foster mom, even with medication, the dog’s pain is immense.
Another dog at Sammie’s Friends had to have her leg amputated after falling out of a truck. She is now a three-legged dog. This was completely unnecessary.
The third dog was intentionally drug by someone behind a vehicle. Karma had his paw pads and toenails completely drug off. Can you even imagine the pain. In spite of it all, he wagged his tail and welcomed attention. There is a reward available to whoever can give us information on who committed this heinous crime. This person when located will be prosecuted.
A fourth dog jumped up to the back of the pick-up and caught her paw between the truck and the open tail gate and severely broke her leg. Can you imagine how bad that would hurt. This was a working dog, and of course, she can’t work.
Please keep your dear creatures safe. Put them inside the cab of the truck with you. There are doggie seat belts if you do not want the dog wandering while you’re driving. Our pets are to be cared for by us. They count on us to keep them safe.
Cheryl Wicks is the director of Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter. Contact the shelter at (530) 471-5041.