Photo of a snow-covered dog in Colorado in open pickup bed raises concerns

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On an icy cold morning in Parker, Colorado, the snow wasn't the only thing catching people’s attention.

But something in the back of a snow-covered pickup truck caught one driver’s attention.

It was a dog, barely visible underneath the white powder. Kayla Hall snapped a photo.

Dr. Missy Tasky at the nearby Gentle Touch Animal Hospital said it was “a recipe for disaster.”

"In that situation, where there's nowhere for him to go, you know, it could be very problematic," Tasky said.

At the time the photo was taken, the temperature was 16 degrees, with a wind chill of zero. It likely felt even colder in a truck going nearly 50 miles per hour.

“That breed of dog can withstand extreme temperatures, extreme cold, a lot better than the average dog. But in general with hypothermia, just like for people, they can get the frostbite situation. It could cause their blood pressure to drop. their heart rate to drop,” Dr. Tasky said.

Colorado state patrol said it’s not illegal to have a dog in the back of a truck, even if the liftgate is unsecured, but a spokesperson said this scenario could be considered animal cruelty, saying “the law is not cut-and-dry on this but the driver could be cited with a violation of animal cruelty if there was enough evidence.”

The state patrol said things like wind chill, breed of dog, and the dog’s appearance would be taken into consideration.

Dr. Tasky said legal or not, this is wrong.

"It's heartbreaking to see that. Take into consideration things that might adversely affect us, are going to impact affect our pets as well," Tasky said.