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A law that isn't on the books in Pennsylvania that one York County advocate said should be would make it illegal for pet owners to transport animals in the back of pickup trucks.

Melissa Smith, executive director of the York County SPCA, recalled one incident a few years ago when a dog tethered in the bed of a pickup truck leapt from it while the truck was on Interstate 83 and was dragged.

The Etters-area pet owner had decided to surrender his two pooches to the SPCA, put them in the back of his truck and took off down I-83 toward the Manchester Township shelter, Smith said.

Unbeknownst to the man, one of the dogs jumped from the truck's bed onto the busy highway and was dragged until other drivers frantically honked their cars' horns to get the man's attention.

The man pulled over, loaded up the injured dog and continued on to the shelter, Smith said.

"I'll never forget what that dog looked like," she said, adding the pet owner appeared unfazed by what happened to the dog.

The dog survived and was adopted by a family. It later died of natural causes, Smith said.

However, Smith said the ordeal the dog faced could have been avoided if carrying an animal in the open bed of a pickup truck were illegal.

"That's one (law) we really need," she said. "We see it a lot."

State Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, said he'll look into drafting a bill to address the matter.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.

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