Puppy breaks leg jumping from moving truck

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MURRAY, UT (June 8, 2018) -- Humane Society of Utah warns against unrestrained dogs riding in truck beds


A 4-month-old Labrador retriever, Pit Bull Terrier mix dog named Jezebel broke her left front leg jumping from the bed of a moving pickup truck the week of May 28, 2018. The dog’s owner surrendered Jezebel to the Humane Society of Utah May 30, and orthopedic surgery was performed Friday, June 1 to correct the fracture. Jezebel will spend the next four to six weeks recovering in a foster home. The Humane Society of Utah warns dog owners not to allow their pet to ride in the bed of a pickup truck or on a flatbed truck.


“There is no law in Utah that prohibits dogs from riding in the open bed of a pickup truck,” said Gene Baierschmidt, HSU executive director. “We tried to pass legislation years ago, and police supported the bill because dogs riding unrestrained in a truck bed can distract drivers or cause potential traffic accidents if they fall or jump out on the road, but many rural residents opposed the bill. We hope to educate drivers on the dangers to dogs riding in open truck beds and prevent accidents like this from happening.”


Jezebel’s owners reported that the truck was moving at a speed of 20 miles per hour when the puppy jumped out of the bed and onto the road. The location where the incident occurred was not reported.


Jezebel was taken to a local veterinary hospital where a cast was placed on the leg; however, the owners could not afford the necessary orthopedic surgery. The Humane Society of Utah used donations from an emergency care fund to arrange surgery with an orthopedic surgeon at a specialty veterinary hospital.


“Jezebel’s leg had a plate surgically attached to the bone to correct the fracture,” said Jamie Usry, HSU development director. “We recently held an online Day of Giving May 31 to fundraise for our Pieter Isgreen Medical Fund to offer help to animals in our care who need specialized medical procedures that are beyond what we can offer in our Clinic. We’re glad that we were able to help Jezebel but know that this injury was completely preventable.”


According to American Humane, 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving riding in truck beds.


Dogs that are unrestrained can jump or fall out of moving vehicles resulting in injury or death to the animal or other drivers. Pets should be kept in a kennel or restrained in the cab. Using a leash to restrain a dog in a truck bed is not advised since dogs have been dragged along the road and injured falling from a truck while still leashed to it. Dogs that ride in pickups can be exposed to tremendous amounts of dust and road grime from the open bed which can damage their eyes. The velocity of the air mass shooting into the dog's lungs is not healthy and can cause damage over time.


Although there is no state law, some Utah cities and counties have local ordinances stating that no operator of a motor vehicle can transport or keep an animal in a public place in or on any motor vehicle unless the animal is safely enclosed within the vehicle or protected by a container, cage, or other devices that will prevent the animal from falling from, being thrown from, or jumping from the motor vehicle.