A 10-year-old girl was put in a dog cage as her parents drove along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, leading to some shocking moments for fellow motorists and charges for the girl’s parents.
The incident happened at close to 7 pm on Monday in Millvale, Pennsylvania, a little outside of Pittsburgh. Motorists spotted the 10-year-old girl sitting in a dog cage in the back of a pickup truck.
The incident took place while the highway was filled with holiday travelers returning back from Memorial Day events. Police said they received several phone calls from other motorists who saw the 10-year-old, giving police a description of the truck and the girl.
The first call came to Pennsylvania State Police shortly after 7 pm, with a motorist reporting seeing a girl in a dog cage in the bed of a pickup. Another call came a few minutes later, giving police a description of the pickup along with its license plate number.
Police found the registration for the truck and directed local authorities in Millvale. The police were able to catch up with the truck near the couple’s home, where they found the 10-year-old girl in the cage with a small dog.
Police charged the parents who put the 10-year-old in the dog cage. The girl’s mother, 29-year-old Abbey Carlson, and stepfather, 30-year-old Thomas Fishinger, are now facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
A motorist snapped a photo of the 10-year-old in the cage, one that ended up posted on the internet on Tuesday. It showed a young girl cowering in a small cage, unable to sit up fully.
Fishinger, the driver of the pickup, told police they were returning from his mother’s house in nearby Beaver County. The parents say the 10-year-old was put in the cage because she wanted to be with the dog.