A photo posted to Facebook showing a dog sitting on an open flatbed trailer has sparked outrage among dog lovers and an investigation by police.
The picture was taken in the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, by an individual driving by and was reported to the Calgary Humane Society (CHS) as well as police.
“This guy was driving down Stoney Trail with his dog tethered to his flat-bed trailer,” Facebook user Ryan Harris wrote. “He should not own a dog.”
Many people commenting on the photo agreed, although it’s too early to say at this time if the driver will be charged.
A CHS spokesperson said the driver’s actions could lead to animal cruelty charges.
“On the Animal Protection Act end of things, that certainly has the potential for causing distress and can be an undue hardship,” CHS spokesperson Brad Nichols told Global News. “From the photo that I witnessed, it appears to be risky at best. The dog potentially could fall off that flatbed while the vehicle is in motion, which would have the potential for severe injury, if not death.”
The driver’s actions also appear to violate the city’s responsible pet ownership bylaw. Both agencies are continuing their investigation and reaching out to the person who took the photo.
Update: Nov 16, 2017
Two weeks after this photo went viral, Calgary police have made an arrest. Volodymyr Irodenko, 40, turned himself in and now faces numerous municipal, provincial and criminal code charges for offenses ranging from causing an animal to be in distress, to transporting an animal outside the cab of a vehicle.
The dog has also been removed from his care and is with the Calgary Humane Society. The dog is believed to be mostly a Leonberger. Speaking to the press, Calgary Humane Society’s Brad Nichols said that Irodenko has not been forthcoming with the name or breed of the dog. He said of the dog is doing okay and credits multiple agencies working together with the public for bringing about the charges.
“Transporting dogs in the beds of trucks can be incredibly dangerous to the dog, between exposure to extreme weather and the risk of falling,” he said in a statement. “This offense is aggravated by the manner in which this dog was being transported, on a flatbed with no side rails to keep him on the trailer. We are very lucky, in Calgary, to have agencies that can work together so effectively to ensure the well being of animals and accountability for reckless owners.”
Update: February 15, 2018
Volodymyr Irodenko appeared on court on the charges levied against him for endangering his dog. He claimed the dog had been sprayed by a skunk and that he was taking the dog to a car wash as for the reason the dog was on the flatbed of the truck.
Global News has confirmed Irodenko pleaded guilty to a municipal bylaw that prohibits dogs from being “outside of a passenger cab of a motor vehicle on a roadway.”
He has been fined $1,500.00 after the court heard the man demonstrated a serious lapse in judgment and that he put the dog and other drivers at risk.