GRAPHIC: SCDOT responds to disturbing images of dead dog put on side of truck for roadway removal
CALHOUN COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation is responding to a now-viral social media post that shows a dead dog being transported away from the road by being hanged on the side of the truck.
The social media post made by Rebecca Bonnette shows the incident happening in Calhoun County in Sandy Run. The description shows the outrage of the treatment of the dead pet.
“This happened around 3 p.m. today on Hwy 21 in Sandy Run,” the post reads. “This is how DOT decided to take someone’s dog that had been hit down the road. My friend is so upset and her children saw the dog hanging from the truck. They told my friend that they were going to throw it in the ‘forest.’”
A video on the post shows the workers telling the poster that the dog’s body would be thrown in the wood, as they do with all dead animals picked up off the road.
In response to a WIS inquiry about the post, a SCDOT spokesperson said:
SCDOT is reviewing the situation that occurred in Calhoun County on Monday involving the removal of a dead animal from the road. SCDOT’s policy prohibits its workers from transporting an animal carcass hanging from the hoist of the truck. The hoist is to be used to place the carcass in the bed of the truck. SCDOT apologizes to the public for the failure of the crew to follow procedure. Disciplinary action may result when the review is completed.
Poore also said that concerned citizens who have contacted SCDOT directly will have their calls received.
Lisa Gower said she was out running errands and driving on Highway 21 in Swansea when her daughter, who was sitting in the front seat, gasped.
“I could not pass by that,” Gower said. “It was morbid, it’s insensitive, it was gross and that is somebody’s pet.”
Gower said several of her children inside the car who could see the dog hanging from the hoist began crying, so she pulled over to ask the DOT workers what they were doing. She said the employees told her the dog was too heavy to pick up, so they removed it from the side of the road with the help of a hoist on the back of the truck.
The DOT needs to have an explanation and people need to be held accountable for dangling this dog for everyone to see,” Gower said.
Shortly after confronting the employees, Gower said they drove away with the dog dangling over the side of the truck. Representative Russell Ott said he has heard from numerous constituents who are upset about the incident.
“Clearly it was a problem, clearly it shouldn’t have been done, but it’s probably premature to say it was a lack of judgement until you hear from the people involved,” Ott said. He said DOT officials have assured him they are investigating the incident and will take any appropriate disciplinary action upon completion.
“They are state employees utilizing our taxpayer money to do that…on our public roads….to put somebody’s pet on display by hanging it and driving it down the road,” Gower said. “The DOT needs to answer to that and someone needs held accountable.”
As for their policy, SCDOT officials say the worker attempts to find any collars or tags on any domesticated dog to return to its family, but after that they are to dispose of the dog to naturally decay in a wooded area.
One of the photos shows the dog strung up on the side of the truck and another photos shows the truck driving away with the dog’s body tied to the truck.
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