Cops Bust Pennsylvania Couple For Letting Girl, 10, Ride Inside Dog Cage In Pickup Truck's Bed

A Pennsylvania woman and her boyfriend were arrested last night after allegedly allowing the woman’s 10-year-old daughter to ride inside a dog cage in the bed of the family’s pickup truck as it traveled on a state turnpike.

Motorists who spotted the child in the cage (along with a small dog) called 911, triggering a police stop of the truck near the home of Abbey Carlson, the girl’s mother, and Thomas Fishinger, the woman’s boyfriend.

As seen at right, one alarmed driver even snapped a photo of the girl inside the dog cage.  

Carlson, 29, and Fishinger, 33, were arrested for child endangerment. The couple was arraigned early this morning on the felony charge and released on their own recognizance. They are scheduled for a June 6 preliminary hearing in District Court in Pittsburgh.

Fishinger, who was driving the truck, told cops that the child (who was unharmed) requested to ride in the cage along with the dog. Carlson and her family were traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as they returned from a Memorial Day visit to a relative’s home.

Carlson’s Facebook page includes a variety of photos of her family’s dogs, and updates that reflect her devotion to animals. “I have zero tolerance for animal abusers,” one post states. In a December 31 update, Carlson (seen at left) reported that she was watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with her daughter and her dogs and “couldn't ask for better night.”

The child endangerment rap against Fishinger was his second felony collar in recent days, according to court records. He was named last Thursday in a criminal complaint charging him with 18 counts of identity theft and access device fraud (15 of the counts are felonies). He was freed from custody Friday after posting $5000 bail.