While driving down a road in Denver on a snowy day, someone snapped a photo that has taken social media by storm and amassed a lot of criticism, and rightfully so in our eyes. In the back of a truck bed was a dog covered in snow with the tailgate down.
Authorities say it’s legal to have a dog in the back of a truck even with an unsecured tailgate, but this situation could be considered animal cruelty.
“The law is not cut and dry on this but the driver could be cited with a violation of animal cruelty if there was enough evidence,” the Colorado State Patrol said in a statement. The wind chill, dog breed, and the dog’s appearance would all be taken into account.
While a Malamute can withstand extreme cold better than average dogs, the temperature at the time of the incident showed 16-degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of 0-degrees putting the dog at risk of frostbite. And in the back of a truck going nearly 50 mph, it most certainly felt even colder than that.
It’s unclear how long the dog was in the back of the truck, and State Patrol says it’s ultimately a judgement call by troopers or officers to determine whether or not it is animal cruelty.