ALABAMA (WKRG) — Alabama has no law against people riding in the bed of trucks, but what about man’s best friend?

Only a handful of states have laws about transporting dogs in the back of pickup trucks. And most of the states that do have laws about it prohibit dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks, according to the Animal Legal & Historical Center at Michigan State University’s College of Law.

For example, Connecticut prohibits dogs from riding in truck beds unless “unless the dog is secured in a cage or other container or otherwise protected or secured in such a manner as to prevent the dog from being thrown or falling or jumping from the pick-up truck,” according to state law.

Other states have more general laws, like Washington, where it is unlawful to “transport any living animal on the running board, fenders, hood, or other outside part of  any vehicle unless suitable harness, cage or enclosure be provided and so attached as to protect such animal from falling  or being thrown therefrom.”

States like Oklahoma cover transporting animals under their animal cruelty laws. Oklahoma law reads, “Any person who carries or causes to be carried in or upon any vessel or vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, or so as to produce torture is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Alabama is among the majority of states with no law expressly prohibiting dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks. Pickup truck drivers in Alabama are legally allowed to ride with their dogs in the back of their trucks, even without restraints to prevent them from jumping out.

But is it safe to let your dog ride in the back of a truck?

The American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Division prepared a peer-reviewed summary of the question in 2007. The summary focused on the risk of injury dogs face when riding unsecured in truck beds, specifically the risk if they jump or are thrown from the vehicle.

The long and short of it: the American Veterinary Medical Association said it’s dangerous, writing in summary that “Dogs transported in open truck beds are at risk of severe injury.” They found that truck bed injuries “tend to be severe and multiple and include fractures and abrasions.”