It's common to spot a dog tied to the back of a ute or trailer and in a vast majority of cases it's perfectly legal if the animal is securely fastened. However, some dog owner's makeshift methods to restrain their pets are rubbing people the wrong way.
A black and white dog was spotted on the back of a trailer in Townsville last week and holding it in place appeared to be a strap attached to a mass of entangled wires, keeping the vehicle and trailer joined to one another. From an image captured by a nearby driver, the dog's tail can be seen firmly between its hind legs, which are braced in a wide stance.
Tying dogs to back of trailers branded 'stupid'
Some people believe the act of tying a dog to the back of a trailer or ute is "cruel" and "stupid", saying the dog's wellbeing or safety is not prioritised in these instances.
"Irresponsible pet owner right there," one local said online, while others worried about the dog being exposed to heat with no cover while standing on the hot metal tray.
"That floor would be hot under it's feet," another said, while a third even suggested calling the police. "Poor dog," one person remarked.
However some dog owners said their pet enjoys being out in the open rather than being confined inside a car. "They love riding utes!" they argued.
RSPCA's 'least preferred' way of transporting dogs
In Queensland dogs can only be transported on a trailer or ute if it is secured in a way which stops the animal from falling or moving off the tray, and cannot be injured by any movement of the vehicle.
There are three different legal ways Aussies can transport their dogs on the roads — inside the vehicle, inside a cage or canopy or by tying them up — and despite tethering being a "common" choice, it is the RSPCA's "less preferred" method.
"Generally inside the vehicle with a dog attached to a harness and collar... that's the best way," RSPCA Queensland Inspector Kyle Patrech previously told Yahoo News Australia. "[Unlike tethering] the other two methods at least provide the animal with some protection from the elements... we try to work around the third way of using harness or tether attached to the very middle of the tray."
Thousands of dogs are injured every year due to owners incorrectly restraining their dog to the back of a ute or trailer, according to the Queensland government. Dog owners can cop a maximum penalty of $9,288 in such cases.
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