The Alberta SPCA has concluded its investigation after a driver was reported to have transported his dogs above his truck bed. No charges will be laid.
“We know many people will be upset with our decision,” said communications manager Roland Lines.
“I have spoken to people who have witnessed the tragic outcomes that can result from unsafe transport and I have received many messages demanding we lay charges.
“It is extremely frightening and frustrating to see animals transported in this manner, but that doesn’t mean charges are appropriate.”
According to the SPCA, if the animals are unharmed and the investigating officer is confident that the subject acknowledges their error and will act differently in the future, charges aren’t “necessarily warranted.”
“If our officer leaves the engagement feeling like the owner has in fact learned from this situation, and the animals weren’t harmed to begin with, then charges are not warranted,” Lines explained. “They’re not going to add to the situation.
The investigation began earlier this week after a man reported seeing two dogs unsecured in the back of a truck.
“The dogs were obviously scared; they didn’t want to get up. Just the speed he was going was reckless,” Joeseph Dunbar said on Monday. “I didn’t see any leashes, they weren’t tied down in any sense. He could have taken a fast turn and one of those dogs would have taken off onto the highway.”
Dunbar was driving from Wabamum, Alta. to Edmonton on Sunday morning when the truck sped past him near Spruce Grove. Dunbar told investigators it appeared the driver was speeding and that he was weaving in and out of traffic.
“We are grateful to the person who took the photos and then called us to make a report. Because of that report, an Alberta SPCA peace officer could open an investigation and make sure the dogs were safe and uninjured,” Lines said. “The health and welfare of the animals are always our primary concern.”
While no charges were laid in this case, the SPCA said the organization is hopeful this case raises awareness of proper transport of animals.
“Despite that anger, it was reassuring to us that so many people understand that it’s an inappropriate way to be transporting animals,” Lines said. It’s reassuring that the majority of owners know they need to keep their animals safe when they are riding in a vehicle.”
WATCH BELOW: The Alberta SPCA is investigating after dogs were spotted on the back of a truck speeding down the highway. Sarah Kraus reports.
Anyone who sees an animal they feel may be in distress is asked to call the Alberta SPCA at 1-800-455-9003.