A van with caged puppies on the roof was pulled over by police in Ohio, but this potentially disastrous story now has a happy ending, thanks to some dedicated police officers.
The incident took place over the weekend when someone called police to report that a van with caged puppies on the roof was speeding down Interstate 76 in Ohio. Police were able to catch up to the van and pull them over before the animals could be harmed, but the officers found a strange explanation for the decision.
The driver and his family are Mennonites, a religious sect closely tied to the Amish in which followers stay away from many aspects of modern life. While they are allowed to use some modern technologies, the Mennonites adhere to conservatives believes and often are not in tune with modern social norms.
The van’s driver, Wendell Steiner, told police that there simply wasn’t enough room inside the car for the puppies.
“We had more important things to put inside the vehicle. We have four children,” he said.
As Ohio reported, the driver didn’t even know he was breaking the law.
“Steiner said he had no idea he was possibly breaking a law by putting the dogs on the roof. The cage, about 2 feet wide and 4 feet long, was covered with a blanket, but the wind on the highway lifted the cover, exposing the pups for passing motorists to see.”
“If I had known, I’d never agree to it,” he said. “I would have kept them in Nova.”
Police said the van was driving with the caged puppies on the roof for at least 50 miles, and afterward the dogs “weren’t acting like puppies,” KNXV-TV reported. Once the puppies were rescued from their cage on the roof of the van, police sat by the roadside and comforted the animals.
Police ended up letting the driver go without charges, saying it was a cultural misunderstanding.
“He had absolutely no idea what he was doing was wrong,” said Sgt. Kris Beitzel. “In this case, the cultural issues, he now knows that this is absolutely not the way to transport puppies. The puppies are traumatized, but I think they’ll come around with a little love and attention.”
But the story of the puppies found caged on the roof of the van does have a happy ending. After being rescued, the animals were taken to a local Humane Society where they are reportedly doing well and will soon be awaiting adoption.
[Image via NY Daily News]