Couple tries to explain their thought process after sending girl into dog cage

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MILLVALE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania couple facing child endangerment charges after letting their 10-year-old daughter ride in a dog cage in the back of a pickup truck, is now trying to explain that it wasn’t as bad as it appeared.

The story went viral after someone riding by snapped a picture of the girl and then called police.

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal we weren’t going fast, we weren’t,” said Abbey Carlson, 29, the girl’s mother.

Carlson said their pet dog was making a fuss in the back, so they pulled over and let the little girl climb into the wire pen.

“I didn’t want the dog to suffer. I didn’t want – that’s like animal cruelty to me, you know what I mean, the dog crying like that,” said Thomas Fishinger, the girl’s step-father.

“It was in the back going oooh oooh oooh. We knew there was three of us so we couldn’t put the dog in side the cab with us,” Carlson said.

The child’s stepfather confessed that the car was moving while the girl was in the back, in the cage.

“I just didn’t think it would be an issue,” he said.

Fishinger said the cage was strapped into the truck.

“I put two rachet straps in there like a seat belt. There were two rachet straps holding the cage down,” he said.

Fishinger said his step-daughter will never again go into the back of the truck.

“Oh my God. Yes. I’d never hurt my daughter,” he said.

Carlson and Fishinger were released on their own recognizance after they were arrested when they got home. They face felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

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