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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Langford businesses can expand onto sidewalks, public spaces

Council passes new bylaw supporting business expansion

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read