It’s time to address a “pet peeve” of mine: pet owners who allow their dogs to ride, unrestrained, in the back of pickup trucks.

The dogs may appear to be having fun with the wind whipping their ears. But regardless of the enjoyment factor, this type of transportation simply isn’t safe.

Working at the SPCA has enlightened me on many subjects, and if you could see the results of an accident caused by this type of carelessness, you would feel the same sense of outrage that I do.

Hitting a bump, swerving to avoid an obstacle or braking suddenly can throw a dog from the truck. If the fall doesn’t injure or kill the dog, it is likely another car will.

In an attempt to avoid hitting a fallen dog, another driver may cause ensuing accidents. Carrying dogs in pickup trucks poses a threat both to the animal and to other motorists.

Tying a dog to the truck bed isn’t enough. Ropes and leashes become nooses if the dog is jolted from the truck. The wind carries dirt, debris and gravel that can lodge in and damage the dog’s eyes, nose or ears.

Please use a dog crate if you insist on taking the dog for a ride, or let him ride up front with you. He’ll enjoy the trip a lot more if he doesn’t have to fight for his life against gravity, momentum and traffic.

Sponsor-A-Cage Program Initiated by SPCA

Your cash gift can help offset the high cost of medical care, grooming, food and lodging for animals temporarily housed at the SPCA. Gifts will benefit a specific large dog run, puppy pen, small dog cage, or kitten or cat cage, each of which will feature a special plaque identifying the sponsoring individual, company or organization.

Annual sponsor rates are $175 for a kitten or puppy pen; $300 for a cat or small dog cage; and $500 for a large dog run.

Contact the SPCA, 362 S. Industrial Blvd., at 651-9611 for details.

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