Veterinarian: Stop driving trucks with dogs unsecured

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -There's one thing that Dr. Brian Hunter can't stand.

"This is my pet peeve. Of all the injuries that I see, it's the thing I hate to see the most," Dr. Hunter, a veterinarian and owner of Hunter Veterinary Clinic, said.

Hunter is talking about drivers of pick-up trucks who travel with their pets unsecured in cargo beds.

A dog flew out of the back of the pickup truck and was left behind in Spokane Valley Monday morning.

Dr. Hunter said it's a matter of safety and legality.

"First of all, it's against the law. Secondly, it puts the dog at risk. I have seen a number of injuries from dogs who have either been thrown from the back of pick-ups or jumped out the back, and they could be horrendous injuries," he said.

Washington state law states "any person who willfully transports... any domestic animal... that will jeopardize the safety of the animal or the public shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

Dr. Hunter's advice: treat pets like people and keep animals inside vehicles while traveling. If it's impossible to keep an animal inside a car while driving, Hunter suggests keeping the animal "inside a kennel that is also restrained in the back of the pickup." He also said to make sure the kennel and animal are covered to stay warm, especially with the inevitable winter temperatures in the upcoming weeks.

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