A heart-wrenching photo showing a dog covered with snow in 16F (-8°C) while it was sitting in a snow-covered cargo bed has sparked outrage on social media.
The photo was taken in Parker, Colorado, when the area was braced by a severe snowstorm.
At a time when the temperature was unbearably low and winter winds were in their full swing, the poor malamute was lying helplessly on the back of the pickup truck, covered with snow.
The picture stirred heated debates throughout the social media as soon as it was shared, KDVR reported.
Some people said that it’s normal for such breeds to be outside even in freezing weather as they can withstand it.
However, many argued that this is animal cruelty and that the owner of the dog must be charged for neglect.
“It’s animal cruelty – no question about it. They need to find this person and get the dog away from him immediately,” a person wrote on Twitter.
“This dog is in his element! Need to close the tailgate though,” said another.
While the people were divided into two groups discussing whether you should let your pet handle the severe weather by itself or not, Dr. Missy Tasky, a vet at the Gentle Touch Animal Hospital, expressed her expert opinion.
She said that despite the animals’ capability of bearing low temperatures, they should not be left to cope with that on their own. She added that enduring freezing weather is as unsafe for the animals as it is for humans.
“That’s just a recipe for disaster,” she said while speaking to KDVR.
“That breed of dog can withstand extreme temperatures, extreme cold better than the average dog. But in general, just like for people, they can get frostbite.
“It’s just not an ideal situation for that guy.”
She added: “In that situation, where there’s nowhere for him to go, it could be very problematic.”
The truck was moving along a road, where the speed limit was 45mph. So if we were to cater the wind factor, the dog was, in fact, bearing temperature of 0F (-18°C).
Colorado State Patrol told KDVR that keeping the dog in the back of a pickup isn’t an illegal activity. It means the driver cannot be charged even if the truck lift gate was insecure.
However, the driver can be accused of animal cruelty if all the factors are considered collectively, a spokesperson for Colorado State Patrol said.
“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 spokesperson added.