April 15, 2021
To Representative Ashlee Matthews for introducing House Bill 386 to protect dogs riding in truck beds.
While driving, have you ever seen dogs in the back of a pickup truck and held your breath as you watch them move about innocent to the dangers a sudden stop would make? These dogs who are allowed to roam freely around the back of an exposed truck bed are susceptible to an array of injuries. Leg fractures and broken bones are common injuries sustained from jumping or falling out of a stationary or moving truck bed. Sadly, if the vehicle is involved in an accident, the dogs may sustain more life-threatening or fatal injuries and even impact other drivers’ safety.
According to a news article, legislators in Utah sought to protect dogs who are dangerously transported in truck beds with The Transportation of Dogs Act. Unfortunately, it did not pass the House. Representative Ashlee Matthews (D-District 38) introduced House Bill 386 with the hopes of prohibiting owners from recklessly putting their dogs in the back of open pickup trucks and driving at high speeds. A Utah resident filmed a dog precariously balancing on the bed of a truck traveling over 70 mph. Astonishingly, this type of negligence for an animal’s well-being and other drivers is legal in most states.
California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have passed legislation to ensure dogs’ safety while being transported in truck beds. Some of the restrictions include: 1) allowing dogs to be transported if the truck bed is enclosed, 2) allowing dogs to be transported if they are confined in a cage, or 3) allowing dogs to be transported if the truck sides are at least 46″ high. California, Maine, and New Hampshire have exceptions for hunting or working dogs.
Take Action: If your state is not listed above, please contact your representative to show your support to protect dogs who are transported in open pickup trucks.