The mother of a 10-year-old girl and the woman's boyfriend were charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child after the girl was spotted in the back of a pickup truck, riding in a cage with the family dog.
Drivers were shocked to see the little girl in the back of the truck as it drove along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. One driver took a picture of the strange situation, and other motorists called the police to report the incident. Authorities were given the license plate number and went to the address it was listed to.
"Officer Gapsy and I then set up on the area, and a short time later observed the vehicle turn onto Friday Road from Evergreen Road and a traffic stop was made. Officers could see the open bed of the truck, which had a dog cage with a small dog and a juvenile female in the cage," Officer Brandon Morgan wrote in the criminal complaint filed against the couple.
Thomas Fishinger, 30, and his girlfriend Abbey Carlson, 29, said that they were coming from his mother's home in Beaver County. The little girl wanted to stay with the dog, so they let her into the cage and took off. Now the girl is with her maternal grandmother, who insisted that her granddaughter did say she wanted to ride with the dog.
"It was just an innocent mistake on their behalf," the grandmother, who wanted to remain anonymous, told KCCI News. "And it was nothing more than that. Yes, I quite possibly think that she could have been in danger, but I don't think that they were thinking of it that way. They would never put her in danger – never. I know they wouldn't," she insisted.
The news has outraged some, who have been shocked at the judgment of the parents in this case.
"It is hard to describe the complete lack of brain power these two parents have. They are lucky they weren't in any kind of accident. Apparently they are trying to be their daughter's friend instead of parents," TribLive.com reader Alan noted.
Watch the grandmother's explanation HERE: