Summer is approaching, and the BC SPCA is reminding dog owners to be cautious when travelling with their four-legged co-pilots.
100 Mile House SPCA branch supervisor Randi Dewhurst told the Free Press she’s concerned people are going to start letting their dogs hop in the back of their pickup trucks. When a dog is riding in the back of a truck, they are being exposed to heat, harsh wind and objects that could hit their eyes.
“It’s not a good idea at all,” she said. “Especially once the summer comes and we start experiencing hot temperatures. The bed of a pickup truck can reach incredibly high temperatures and it burns the bottom pads on dogs’ feet.”
According to Section 72 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act and Section 9.3 of B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it is illegal to drive while there are unsecured pets in the back of a pick up truck.
Lorie Chortyk, the SPCA’s general manager and spokesperson, told the Free Press that they see too many cases of animals being injured as a result of riding in the back of trucks.
“The biggest danger is the truck could swerve and knock the dog out of the truck,” Chortyk said. “We speak out on this issue every year because some people just don’t seem to get the message.”
If a vehicle is travelling at a moderate speed and the dog is not restrained when the vehicle has to stop suddenly, there is risk of injury to the dog, the people in the car, and others driving on the road.
“There are a variety of pet restraints and crates available to keep pets safe inside a vehicle, and harnesses available to secure a crate in the back of a pickup truck,” Chortyk said. “Unsecured pets can be very distracting to drivers both inside the vehicle and the ones driving behind.”