A horrific death


Many people witnessed the horrific incident that led to the death of a puppy on March 9.
The incident started at the intersection of North Pagosa Boulevard and U.S. 160 when a puppy did what many puppies do.
“The puppy lunged to bark at a car and fell over the edge and was hanging over at tire level squealing and yelping for his life,” wrote Bob Yager in an email to The SUN.
The driver of the pickup truck didn’t stop.
Yager explained that he followed the driver of the pickup flashing his lights and honking his horn to try and get the other driver’s attention.
“Two and a half miles I and everyone else on the road had to watch in horror as this puppy dangled helplessly bouncing off the tire,” he wrote.
“For the record. I am 58 years old and have seen a lot of sad things regarding some animals but this is by far the most horrific despicable act of complete negligence I have ever seen,” Yager opined.
There was quite a bit more detail and emotion expressed in his account of the puppy’s death. It is one of those emails that makes you sick to your stomach to read.
Plenty of people witnessed the dog dangling helplessly from the bed of the pickup truck over the 2.5 miles as the truck drove down the highway toward town. Those people cannot ever forget that image.
The parents who were out for a Saturday drive with their two children can never erase that scene from their children’s memories.
Despite his efforts, Yager couldn’t save the pup.
Law enforcement told The SUN that the dog was put down due to the extent of its injuries.
Seeking justice, Yager reached out to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). A lady there explained that “there are counties in Colorado that do have truck dog restraint statutes and render aid policies and this case is a perfect starting point to advocate for similar statutes and policies here in Archuleta County.”
Yager aims to do just that by bringing this matter to the public’s attention and hoping that the town and county will adopt laws to protect dogs while being transported in the back of pickups.
Yager is seeking action to help bring him closure in the death of this puppy.
“I have been deeply affected by this,” he wrote, explaining that he is seeking “some kind of justice and respect for that puppy.”
When you let your dog ride in the back of your pickup, you should never let it ride unsecured. It’s illegal in some states.
Yager hopes it will become illegal in Archuleta County and in the Town of Pagosa Springs. Many local and state governments regulate how dogs can be carried in pickup beds.
The ASPCA recommends restraining dogs when transporting them in pickup truck beds. Securing them in a cage or keeping them safely cross-tethered to prevent the dog from being thrown, falling or jumping from the vehicle are best practices if you have to transport a dog in the back of your pickup.
Exemptions can be made for hunting and farm dog owners employed by hunting, ranching or farm operations.
In the United States, it’s estimated that some 100,000 dogs are fatally injured each year riding in the back of pickup trucks by flying out after an accident, jumping out or falling out accidently. These incidents can also potentially cause an accident and injuries to other drivers.
We ask our town and county leaders to consider enacting regulations to prevent other dogs from suffering the same horrific death that this puppy suffered.
Terri Lynn Oldham House