A 41-year-old man was charged by police May 16 after driving through an automated car wash in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador with a dog in the bed of his pickup truck, causing great distress to the animal.

Employees of the car wash were alerted to the incident after hearing the driver of the pickup screech its tires while leaving the wash, with the dog still in the utility box, reports CBC News.

After reviewing surveillance footage showing the disturbing episode, they alerted police, who later charged the offending man under the Animal Protection Act with causing an animal to be in distress and transporting an unsecured animal outside of a passenger compartment.

The high-pressure water jets and strong cleaning agents used to scrub the exterior of vehicles could have caused serious injury to the dog, or even killed it.

“He purchased one of our top wash packages, which is the longest and involves the most chemicals and it didn’t look like he gave much thought about it, never got out to check on the dog, nothing like that and went on into the wash,” said Erin Woodward, the owner of the car wash.

“That water pressure is strong enough to take off skin, and could certainly easily blind an animal who didn’t know what is coming at it.”

The driver of the pickup was reportedly not the owner of the dog, and the animal was immediately taken for assessment at a veterinary hospital after it was returned to its owner by police.

“I have seen our car wash blow apart drywall and plywood and splinter it right to pieces. So the fact that somebody could leave a living creature in the back of the vehicle just boggles my mind,” concluded Woodward.

(CBC News)