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Millvale parents charged with driving with girl, 10, in dog cage in bed of pickup

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Holiday travelers were shocked on Monday evening to see a 10-year-old girl in a dog cage in the back of a pickup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Their calls led police to Millvale, where the child was found unharmed in the cage with a small dog. Her mother and stepfather were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Abbey Carlson, 29, who is the child's mother, and Thomas Fishinger, 30, both of Millvale, were awaiting arraignment on Monday night in Night Court on the charges filed after Millvale police stopped the truck near their home on Evergreen Road.

Fishinger, who was driving the pickup, told police they were driving home from his mother's house in Beaver County.

When asked why the juvenile was in the cage, Fishinger told them she had asked to be with the dog, a criminal complaint states.

An eastbound motorist on the turnpike in Beaver County called state police at 7:01 p.m. to report seeing a girl in a dog cage in the bed of the pickup, troopers said. Troopers received a second call a few minutes later from another motorist near the Butler County line.

The motorists were able to provide a description and license number of the pickup, troopers said. When troopers found the truck was registered to the couple, they alerted officers in Millvale.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or at

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