’That’s not okay with us’: Photo of dog riding on truck on I-81 goes viral

Thousands of people have shared, commented on photo

ROANOKE, Va. – The controversial photo of a dog riding on a flatbed truck down Interstate 81 is getting a lot of attention.

Thousands of people have commented on and shared the photo on social media.

A dog, loosely tied to a flat-bed truck is what Emily Betterton saw as she and her husband drove down I-81 over the weekend.

“It looks like he was just secured loosely by what’s called a martingale leash, meaning that if he were pulled, it’s wrapped around his neck and it’ll get tighter. Basically, if he were to fall off, it would probably break his neck," Betterton said.

Concerned, she and her husband pulled up next to the truck.

“(We) looked at the driver. We kind of mouthed, ‘Hey, your dog.’ He gave a thumbs up; ‘Hey, he’s okay, he’s fine.’ I was, like, ‘Uh, that’s not okay with us,’” Betterton said.

She notified state police, so she doesn’t know what became of the dog or the man driving the truck.

But, she hopes this makes people think before they transport any animal.

“If they don’t have the means to transport it safely, I don’t think that they have any purpose doing so," said Betterton.

The state requires owners provide adequate care for animals during transport, but does not specifically ban them from riding in the back of a truck.

The Roanoke Valley SPCA recommends dogs only be transported inside a vehicle.

“If that’s not an option, your best bet is to have a crate and have that crate bungee-corded in place,” Roanoke Valley SPCA philanthropy and community relations director Suzanne Cresswell said.

Seeing Betterton's picture troubles the organization.

“The Roanoke Valley SPCA believes in the humane treatment of animals and that certainly falls outside of that purview,” Cresswell said.

On Monday, 10 News reached out to state police to see if an investigation is underway but did not hear back.

About the Author: