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Ask A Trooper: Question about dogs in transport

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Question: Thank you for your articles! I see a lot of pick-up trucks that have dogs walking loose and riding in the box. Isn’t that against the law? Please write about this for me. Thank you!

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Answer: Generally no, it is not against the law for dogs (or any animals, or humans for that matter), to ride in the back of a pick-up truck while driving down the road. Some larger cities may have municipal ordinances but no state laws exist specifically for that. If someone is a licensed dog breeder/kennel operator then they have rules requiring the proper transportation of animals. Those requirements are normally inclusive of the animal being inside a kennel type device, which has to be restrained to the vehicle as well.

A bigger concern is actually animals (especially larger ones) that are riding or being transported in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.

They may interfere with the safe driving/operation of the vehicle and they could injure the driver or passengers if involved in a crash. The animals themselves, of course, could also be injured. Also, any objects loose in a vehicle can injure passengers or animals riding in a vehicle if involved in a crash. While it’s not against the law, it is very unsafe to have people riding in the back of a pick-up truck and it is not recommended.

Always buckle up: drivers and all passengers, including in the back seat.

Secure all people, pets and objects in the occupant compartment of all motor vehicles before driving down the road.

— Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is with the Minnesota State Patrol.

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