That dog-on-car meme could turn tragic - Albuquerque Journal

That dog-on-car meme could turn tragic

IT’S NOT OK TO LET YOUR DOG CAR SURF: Dave emails, “There is a woman in the little New Mexico town I live in (TorC) that drives around town in a little green convertible sports car, top down. She has a large white dog that rides on the trunk of the car, standing up as though on a skateboard.

“The police chief has told my wife, who has complained to him several times, that there are no existing laws that apply and that he can do nothing about it. She suggested reckless or careless driving, certainly animal endangerment. He says not.”

And so Dave asks, “Do you have any knowledge of this sort of a situation or know of anyone I could contact that might help? I just doubt if this would be tolerated in Albuquerque and figure there must be some applicable law.”

We turn to Jessica Johnson, the chief legislative officer of Animal Protection of New Mexico and Animal Protection Voters. She says that while “there’s no state law dictating how dogs must be constrained in moving vehicles per se … several localities have local ordinances addressing animal transportation.”

“Our cruelty case manager said, off the top of his head, the following municipalities and counties have ordinances addressing this issue: Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Corrales, Farmington, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and the counties of Bernalillo, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Valencia.”

And Johnson goes on to explain that although “Sierra County doesn’t have an ordinance, just a memorandum of understanding with TorC Animal Control to enforce in the county on request, the TorC ordinance does address when/why Animal Control could take action re: animals in vehicles.”

And it includes (emphasis added):

From definitions: Emergency measures means any action taken by animal control or its designated agents to preserve the health and life of an animal, including but not limited to entering vehicles or premises, with probable cause, and impounding an animal to prevent present or imminent suffering.

From Care and Maintenance section: Shade. Any owner of an animal shall provide the animal with access to shade not to be inclusive of shelter or to carry any animal in or upon any vehicle in a cruel or inhumane manner.

BE PATIENT THIS SUMMER IF YOU’RE HEADED WEST: That message comes from Patti Watson, who’s handling information on Interstate 40 projects to rebuild “roadway and bridges that were built decades ago and are badly in need of repair for safety reasons.”

A news release says the interstate is down to one lane in each direction in these sections, causing backups:

• From mile marker 119.8 to mile marker 120.8, about six miles east of Laguna and 12 miles west of the Bernalillo County/Cibola County line.

• From mile marker 37.6 to mile marker 42.8, at Exit 39, about 18.7 miles east of Gallup, north of Jamestown.

• At Manuelito Canyon about four miles east of the New Mexico/Arizona state line.

Drivers are encouraged to travel before 2 p.m., if possible, watch for slow-moving commercial vehicles and traffic signs in the construction zone, and allow extra time to reach their destination.

MORE FREE CAR-SEAT CHECKUPS: Are scheduled this month courtesy of t he New Mexico Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Division and Safer New Mexico Now. They point out in a news release: “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proper use of a child safety seat reduces the risk of death among infants by 71% and 53% for older children. In order for a safety seat to be effective, it should fit the child, the vehicle and be used consistently and correctly.”

Have yours checked for free – bring the car, the seat and the child to:

• Albuquerque Fire Station No. 14, 9810 Eucariz SW, from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 18.

• Artesia Fire Station No. 2, 309 North Seventh St., from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 20.

• Las Cruces Farm Bureau Financial Services, 2220 North Telshor Blvd., from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20.

• Farmington Fire Station No. 2, 3800 English Road, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 20.

• Santa Fe Kohl’s, 4401 Cerrillos Road, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 26.

For more information, go to or make an appointment by calling l-800-231-6145 or 505-856-6143.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.

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