Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New rule could boot dogs out of pickup truck beds

Pickup truck and dog owners beware: Letting your pooch ride unrestrained in the open air may soon be illegal in Pinellas County.

The provision is one of several found in a proposed overhaul of the county's animal services ordinance. Today, the County Commission is expected to schedule a public hearing for Oct. 7.

If approved, the rules would hold countywide, although individual cities are free to adopt stricter measures.

County animal services director Welch Agnew said many of the proposed changes amount to housekeeping, while others address for the first time various threats to animal welfare.

Prohibitions against hoarding animals have been included, for instance. And there's a provision to allow courts to order convicted hoarders to undergo mental health evaluations and treatment.

"We need to get them some help," Agnew said of hoarders, those found living in squalid conditions with poorly cared-for animals. "We're not in a position to order help, but a court might be."

Also, the portion of the ordinance that governs pet dealers and kennel operators is getting some teeth. Animal services would be able to cite dealers and operators for failing to meet federal care and sanitation standards, Agnew said, in addition to the bar on cruelty now in place.

Violators of the proposed ordinance would be guilty of a civil infraction, as now, which is punishable by a fine. However, there are new consequences for repeat violators: They could get hauled into court to face a judge.

Then there's the ban on drivers transporting or keeping "an animal in or on any motor vehicle unless the animal is safely enclosed within the vehicle or protected by a container, cage, cross tethering or other device that will prevent the animal from falling, being thrown or jumping from the motor vehicle."

In practice, Agnew said, the new rule would be most felt by pickup owners who carry their dogs untethered in their truck beds. Agnew said there may be some backlash over the measure, but that it's needed both for public and animal safety.

"There are going to be those who say my dog would never jump out of the truck," Agnew said. "But they could still get thrown out of the truck."

Will Van Sant can be reached at or (727) 445-4166.

New rule could boot dogs out of pickup truck beds 08/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 7:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle