SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a 100-pound bullmastiff puppy jumping from the rear seat to the front may have caused a fiery crash Tuesday night.
Santa Ana police said the puppy jumped from the rear seat to the front, causing the driver to swerve and roll his car, which caught fire on Memory Lane.
By the time witnesses got to the vehicle, it was engulfed in flames.
Witnesses, though, were able to rescue both the driver and the dog.
Officers on Wednesday said it’s possible the driver will be cited if it’s determined that the dog was not restrained at the time of the accident.
By law, anything in a vehicle that impairs the driver’s vision or ability to drive is a violation.
“If you’re not securing your dog, even though you want to bring them with you for a fun day out, you’re putting them at risk of injury,” Katie Ingram of O.C. Animal Care said. “A sudden stop or a quick turn and they can go flying and end up breaking bones or hurting themselves.”
Animal experts say a harness and a short leash are all that’s required to tie a dog to the seat belt.
For those who own a pickup, it is also against the law to have a dog ride in the back of the truck unrestrained.