BAKERSFIELD, CA - Pictures and a video taken in Bakersfield has Facebook hopping. It shows a man holding a rabbit out the window of a moving truck. PETA and Bakersfield Animal Control have gotten involved, but the man says he only stuck Sgt. Jumper Thumper out the window to dry him off.
Roger Jones said it's something he's done a million times, doing it only out of love for his favorite pet. But, now he's getting backlash from the community.
The video is short, but to some it's horrifying. It shows a Clear Blue Pools employee holding a rabbit out the window of his company vehicle.
But, when you meet this rabbit and his owner he looks anything but abused.
"This is my Sergeant. I took him one place and someone said 'hey, I want your rabbit'," said Jones. "I said you can take my soul, but you ain't taking my rabbit."
Sgt. Jumper Thumper has the backyard to himself and his very own car.
"Velcro rear strap," said Jones of his rabbit's car. "Rabbit goes in. We go for a walk just like that."
Roger Jones has owned the rabbit for a year. On Saturday, Jones took his pet to work.
"Just did a pool," said Jones. "It was kind of warm outside. Cooled him down with my water bottle. Hung him out and alls I did was dust the water off of him, got his ears. Pulled through the intersection, gave him a little blast and pulled him in."
All the while Jones said, he was holding him up by a harness.
"Don't you ever grab him by the ear," said Jones. "That's a death grip."
Someone took a picture and posted it to Jones' employer's Facebook page.
"This morning I come in and Facebook has blown up," said Tom Irvine, owner of Clear Blue Pools. "I'm getting all kinds of hate mail. "There was like 30 messages saying how dare you employ someone who tortures animals."
Eventually PETA got a hold of the video and complained, so Bakersfield Animal Control and Bakersfield Police Department officers visited Sgt. Jumper Thumper.
"They didn't even think a big deal about it," said Jones of the officers' visit.
Clear Blue Pools is standing behind Jones and hoping their name is cleared.
"If we ever had anybody close to hurting anybody we wouldn't allow it," said Irvine.
Bakersfield Animal Control told 17 News they determined the rabbit was well taken care of.