Chilli, who was injured after falling out of the back of a pickup truck, has become a conversation starter on the dangers and legalities of transporting pets unsecured in the back of pickup trucks. BC SPCA photo

‘They were unaware of the dangers’: Williams Lake SPCA urges caution for dogs in trucks

Injured puppy incident educates public on transporting unsecured pets in back of pickup trucks

Educating the public on the dangers of transporting pets unsecured in the back of pickup trucks has been the bright side of an otherwise sad story about an injured pup named Chilli in Williams Lake.

“That in itself is a great outcome from a horrific situation,” said BC SPCA Williams Lake branch manager Liz Dighton, who fielded calls all day Tuesday after releasing details of the incident.

Chilli is a German Shepherd-mixed puppy who was in the back of her owner’s pickup truck in early October when she jumped out and was caught under the vehicle.

Severely injured, Dighton said the owners rushed the seven-month-old puppy to the local SPCA shelter to see if they could save her.

READ MORE: Puppy sustains ‘horrific injuries’ after falling out of truck in Williams Lake

“That was their decision to surrender her to us to give her the best chance to live,” Dighton said, noting the owners knew the vet costs would be more than they could afford.

“These owners were so devastated, but they knew we were their best chance to get Chilli the medical attention she needed.”

Chilli was rushed to the vet and underwent surgery to remove her badly injured front leg. She has been recovering with a foster family ever since.

“She’s amazing. She’s such a sweet dog,” Dighton said. “It took her about three days to find her balance but now she’s great. She’s just a big, overgrown puppy who wants to sit on your lap.”

When asked if or when Chilli would be available for adoption, Dighton said she is likely in a situation they call a “failed foster.”

“It happens,” she said of the foster family who have grown attached to Chilli. “We don’t know for sure yet but she’s sleeping with them so that’s usually a sign … it’s a perfect home for her should they decide to keep her.”

Dighton said she understands why the public expresses anger toward pet owners in these situations, however, she also pointed out it is a fairly common occurrence in the Cariboo region to transport pets in the back of pickup trucks.

READ MORE: Cariboo lynx photo captures BC SPCA Peoples Choice Award

“Here it’s almost normal but that doesn’t mean it’s right.”

It is actually illegal under Section 72 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act and Section 9.3 of the B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to transport an unsecured pet in the back of a pickup truck, Dighton said. If a pet must be transported in the back of a truck the safest method is to keep them inside a secured crate in the centre of the truck box.

“A lot of people weren’t really aware of the law,” she said of the education and conversation Chilli’s story has started.

Now that they know better, Chilli’s former owners are going to be pushing for change in their own community, Dighton said.

“They were just unaware of the dangers but now they know and are going to educate others.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: One injured in north Surrey shooting Sunday

Male victim taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries

PHOTOS: White Rock marks Remembrance Day

Hundreds of people gathered Monday morning to give thanks to veterans

Surrey veteran talks about the emotional side of war

Reginald Wise served in the Royal Marines in WWII

VIDEO: Quidditch Canada’s Western Regional Championship flies into Surrey

Harry Potter-inspired event is at Hjorth Road Park

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read