Dog owner hits back after controversial photo showing pet tied to his ute

Photos of the dog riding in the back of the vehicle were shared on social media.

A dog owner has defended his decision to let his pet hitch a ride in the back of his ute after photos of the act were shared on social media.

A series of snaps show the large brown dog chained to the back of a plumber's vehicle as it moves through heavy Melbourne traffic, with the scenes attracting a mixed batch of responses from people online.

"He gets in there every morning and I have to forcibly take him out whenever it's raining. The dog jumps up there by himself every day," the plumber told Yahoo News Australia in response to the backlash.

Debate has erupted over the best way to travel with a dog. Source: Facebook.
Debate has erupted over the best way to travel with a dog. Source: Facebook.

Act branded 'unsafe'

Animal rights advocates have slammed the act, claiming it's irresponsible of the owners, should there be an accident or any kind of mishap on the road. Dog owners however claim the animals "enjoy" joining in on their days, with the alternative often meaning leaving dogs at home alone, when they'd otherwise have spent hours outdoors.

"Why even have a dog if you’re going to do this?" the poster wrote on Reddit beside the image of the dog. "Seriously got no issue with people putting their pets in a ute like this safely, but this is an invitation to choke your dog in a minor accident, and make them incredibly uncomfortable if the road gets rough," a person said in response.

"If you’re going to put a dog in the back, they should always have a body harness on for safety," another said.

"Hell, I have my dog in the back seat of the car and I keep him strapped in with a harness because god forbid we get in an accident, I don’t want him to only have his neck as the way to stop his momentum."

Some don't see an issue

Others defended the tradie saying "there's no issue". "To be fair, the dog doesn't look like he minds," a Reddit user wrote.

Another pointed out "the leash is short enough that the dogs not going over the side". "And the dog gets to spend the day out and about instead of stuck in a backyard," they said.

RSPCA responds to controversial act

The RSPCA said it encourages dogs to be restrained in the cabin of cars with a safety belt, rather than in the back.

"This is generally safer, especially in the case of an accident or sudden braking. Owners must also ensure that the control of their vehicle and clear vision is not obscured or interfered with by the dog being inside the cabin," an RSPCA spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"If this is not possible, the dog’s restraint should only be long enough only to allow the dog to stand and lie down, but not so long that there is risk of the dog jumping or falling from the moving vehicle."

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