The Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is investigating whether a local dog owner should be charged for leaving his two dogs loose on top of the bed of a pickup truck.

Joseph Dunbar and his fiancée took photos of the dogs in the back of the truck, who they said was travelling at speeds in excess of 110 km/h, on a highway near Spruce Grove.

The couple uploaded the photos to Facebook, where the post received over 50,000 shares before it was taken down.

Dunbar also reported the incident to the SPCA, who receive around 2,300 complaints every year.

“There’s various regulatory violations that are potentially happening here that we’ll look into,” SPCA communications manager Roland Lines told CTV News.

There are rules and regulations dog owners must follow when travelling on the road with their dogs.

“There are requirements for the dog to be contained in a safe manner for there not to be a material in the carrying case that could not harm the animal,” Lines said. “If the dog has to be in the bed of the truck, you want it to be contained within a kennel, and the kennel should be securely fastened.”

Alberta’s Veterinary Medical Association does not recommend dog owners to leave their dogs in the back of a vehicle.

“When I’ve seen animals that have jumped out of a vehicle or been thrown from a vehicle, they’ve been very serious and sometimes fatal,” Dr. Jocelyn Forseille said.

Cpl. Laurel Scott told CTV News RCMP spoke with the driver of the truck, but decided not to lay charges.

“… some of the reasons that we don't lay charges are as follows: when we don't have sufficient grounds or evidence, when elements of an offence are not met, when a police officer uses discretion in an incident, or when a complaint can be resolved in an alternative matter.”

Dunbar told CTV news he thinks the initial post was removed by Facebook, and RCMP also asked him to take it down because the driver had already received enough scrutiny.

With files from Nicole Weisberg