A photo of a puppy left alone in truck bed on a frigid day is going viral. The pooch was discovered in the back of a truck in Rome.

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Kira Myers and her manager at Sally Beauty Supply found the puppy Saturday morning. Myers says they looked for the owners and called the police. "We covered the puppy with a jacket. A State Trooper arrived and found the owners but said they were doing nothing illegal. He just asked them not to drive with it in the back."

18 year-old Matt Capoccetta and his girlfriend Brittany own the dog and claim they didn't leave him long. "The dog jumped in the back to go for a ride as he always does," says Capoccetta. "It was a short 5 to 10 minutes drive and I backed up my truck to Game Stop so I could keep an eye on the dog. We were only in the store for 5 to 10 minutes."

Myers says the puppy was outside for at least a half hour Saturday morning when the temperatures were in the single digits with wind chills making it feel like -5. "When we asked the owners about the dog, we were told 'it's an animal, it's fine.' I even offered to pay them to take the dog."

How cold is too cold for your dog to be outside? "Once it drops to below 20°F, all dog owners should at least be aware of their dog’s well-being and look for signs that your dog is too cold, even if they are a breed that can take the cold weather,"  suggests the Pedigree Foundation. Paws, pads, ears, and noses are more vulnerable to frostbite. Vehicles act like refrigerators and hold in the cold.

Capoccetta claims his family has been receiving threatening messages every since the picture of the dog was posted on social media. "People are not only endangering the welfare of me and my girlfriend but also her 4 year old boy. That's just not cool."

Myers says she posted the picture to stand up for the puppy and bring awareness of keeping pets safe in extreme weather. "Animals have lives too. They feel pain just the same. I just believe they’re lives have to be defended just the same as humans."

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