Target: Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Goal: Pass legislation that will effectively outlaw the transportation of any animal in the external part of a vehicle
More than 100,000 dogs die each year while being transported in the backs of pickup trucks. Some jump out of the moving truck and some are thrown out during an accident, a turn, or when the brakes are applied too hard. It doesn’t matter how it happens, though. What matters is that it shouldn’t happen at all.
Only a handful of states have outlawed the transportation of an animal in the external part of a vehicle, such as a pickup truck, including Oregon, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. However, even for these states, the offense is a mere Class D traffic violation, which is usually a $50-$100 fine. The fact that it is considered a traffic violation completely devalues the life of the animal. Transporting an animal in the back of a pickup truck is an act of cruelty. It puts the life of the animal in danger and threatens the lives of other drivers.
The American Automobile Association has also condemned the practice. “When you drive with a loose dog in the back of your truck you’re taking a huge risk and placing your dog and other motorists in danger,” says Chuck Mai, a vice president with AAA. “Even if a dog is trained, we’re talking about an animal who responds to stimuli on impulse. This irresponsible decision can start a deadly chain reaction on the road.” No matter how comfortable the animal is, each time it is placed in the bed of a pickup truck, the driver is risking its life and the lives of others.
This must put to an end and be seen for what it is: animal abuse. Our pets deserve just as much protection in a vehicle as human passengers do. If a human forced another human to ride unrestrained on the outside of a vehicle it would be considered a violent crime, not a traffic violation.
Please sign the petition below and demand that a national law be created to outlaw the transportation of an animal in the back of a pickup truck or any other external part of a vehicle, and that it be considered an act of animal cruelty, not a traffic violation.
Dear Mr. Foxx,
Hundreds of thousands of dogs die each year while riding in the backs of pickup trucks. This is an appalling statistic with a very simple solution: Outlawing the practice completely. Perhaps what is even more appalling, though, is that even in the handful of states where it has been made illegal, it is only considered a traffic violation. How can any act that knowingly puts the lives of both the animal and other drivers in danger be considered a minor traffic violation?
How many more hundreds of thousands of dogs need to be killed before a change is made? How many more people need to be put in danger? End it now.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: igilmour via Flickr