Facebook user Brenna Cronin was traveling with her boyfriend on a Florida stretch of I-95 when she saw something both shocking and frightening.
“We saw a dog chained to a crate. I had never seen anything like that before,” Cronin told CNN. “I was completely appalled and disgusted.”
She captured the pit bull on video, cowering atop another dog’s crate while barreling down the road at highway speeds. His own good balance and a single tether were all that helped hold him in place. The dog had an “S” branded into its back leg, she said.
“As I was filming the dog and he saw me, he stood up and looked so scared. You know when dogs are happy, they have their tail wagging and a big smile. He was terrified,” Cronin said.
Cronin later reported what she’d witnessed to the Flagler Humane Society.
She posted the video on Facebook, which had been viewed over 2 million times as of Sunday morning. Legions of people commented in outrage, questioning the treatment of the dog.
The dog’s owner responded to the Facebook post and contacted Flagler Animal Services the next day. The owner has not been publicly named.
Flagler Animal Services checked out the dog (named Zeus) on Thursday and reported he’s being “well cared for.”
The driver told Flagler Animal Services’ staffers that he was traveling from Hastings to go hog hunting with the dogs. One of the dogs was in a hunting box, with Zeus riding up top.
Fox59 reported that sadly, such treatment is not precisely illegal.
From a Flagler County ordinance:
“All dogs taken off their owner’s property and transported in the open bed of pickup trucks, or in any other type of open vehicle, to public places or residential area shall be confined in pens in or on such trucks or other vehicles or be restrained by a minimum or two tethers or some other similar method to safely control or restrain the dogs from easily escaping the vehicles.”
However, there was one violation: Zeus was not properly tethered.
“You need two tethers for what that person was doing and he had one. If he would have had two, it would have been alright with the way the law was,” said Flagler Humane Society Development Coordinator Jeffrey Ritter.
The owner received a ticket for failure to properly tether an animal in violation of the ordinance.