Photo of dog covered in snow in pickup bed goes viral, could be considered cruelty

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(CNN WIRE/KAKE) -

A picture on social media that shows a snow-covered dog in the bed of a pickup truck in drawing harsh criticism from animal lovers in the Denver, Colorado area. 

KDVR reports a woman took the photo in Aurora at around 10:20 a.m. local time Thursday, when the temperature was 16 degrees with a wind chill around 0. It shows a dog covered in snow in the back of a moving pickup truck.

"That's just a recipe for disaster," Dr. Missy Tasky, a local veterinarian said. "It's just not an ideal situation for that guy."

She said it can be dangerous for dogs to be outside in cold weather with no cover and no way to move around to stay warm.

(MORE: Denver goes from 83 to 19 degrees in just 18 hours)

Many of the comments on social media focused on the breed of the dog, which appears to be a malamute.

"That breed of dog can withstand extreme temperatures, extreme cold better than the average dog. But in general, just like for people, they can get frostbite," Dr. Tasky said.

The Colorado State Patrol told the Fox affiliate in Denver that it's legal for a dog to be in the back of a pickup truck, even with the tailgate open. But Sgt. Blake White said this scenario could be considered animal abuse.

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