Footage showing a dog thrown from a ute is being circulated around Queensland, with a warning for drivers to secure their pets.
In the 31 second dashcam video uploaded to social media yesterday, a medium sized animal, believed to be a staffy, can be seen tumbling from the vehicle.
Despite the dog being inside a canopy, she falls through an open window as the ute slows approaching a roundabout.
The Cairns resident who posted the video can then be seen leaving her own vehicle and scooping the dog into her arms.
She has been approached for comment.
Video of dog falling from ute attracts hundreds of comments
The post has attracted over 1000 sad, angry and shocked reactions, and more than 400 comments on Facebook.
Text accompanying the vision urges motorists to “secure your dog whether it’s in a canopy tray or not”.
“Poor little staffy is so lucky to have walked away from this accident,” they wrote.
Responses to the footage have largely focused on the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the dog, and later reunited her with her owner.
“Thank you lovely lady for stopping for the poor girl,” wrote one person.
“Right spot right time, well done for making sure dog is safe now,” said someone else.
Others have reacted with anger, questioning why the owner had not restrained his dog.
“Doesn’t deserve to own a dog,” one Facebook user added.
“Some people should not own pets,” wrote someone else.
Queensland lawyer gives opinion on restraining dogs on utes
Many respondents posted images and stories of other unrestrained dogs, which under Queensland law must be restrained if they are on the back of a ute.
Speaking generally about the Queensland animal transportation regulations, David Abrey of Harper Finch Lawyers told Yahoo News that just like any load carried on the back of a ute, dogs must also be secured.
“Whether you’re talking about tools, or a fridge or a dog, it has to be secured,” he said.
“If you don’t secure it, that can be an offence and you can be fined for that.
“When it comes to a dog being transported in a covered ute, the question then becomes how securely its covered.
“So if an animal falls out of the back of a ute when it turns a corner, then a person might struggle to argue that their animal was properly secured as required.”
Animals cannot travel on your lap inside car, lawyer says
Inside cars travelling on Queensland roads, Mr Abrey is of the opinion that while there is no specific law requiring animals be restrained, there are two issues motorists should be aware of.
“Firstly, you're not allowed to drive with any pets on your lap, and it doesn't matter whether you're talking about dogs, cats, goldfish, or birds,” he said.
“If you do, you could get fined and it could be over $2,000.
“Secondly, if you have an unrestrained pet in your vehicle, and as a result it causes you to drive dangerously, then that could be an offence.
“For example, if you have a cat on the backseat, and you get distracted by it because it's meowing, and then it causes you to get involved in an accident, you could be charged with careless driving and dangerous driving as a result.”
New 'fashion' resulting in injuries to untethered dogs
Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland told Yahoo News that while most farmers are responsible when it comes to tethering working dogs, issues often arise when animals ride on utes in the city.
He has seen utes become “fashionable” in recent years amongst people who “don’t necessarily need one” and these drivers don’t necessarily know what’s required in terms of keeping their dog safe.
“They think it's cool to drive then they just whacked the dog on the back,” he said.
Driving in the city often requires increased breaking, which adds risk to a dog’s wellbeing, and the combination of a metal tray, lack of shade and Queensland heat can also lead to welfare issues.
“Often you're getting dogs left out in the heat on the back of a tray, and don't forget, the tray hasn't got a covering on on the floor, that dog is standing on hot metal,” Mr Beatty said.
“Anyone can try it themselves, leave a ute out in, in the sun, and even on a 27 degree day you basically can't touch that metal.
“We just urge anyone to have shade on the back of the ute, some sort of covering on the metal, and also to restrain their dog.”
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