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

CMHA Port Alberni to launch community clean-up crew

CMHA received a $51,500 grant from city

Hotel California tribute band stops in Port Alberni

Eagles tribute band brings rock and roll classics to ADSS Theatre

Alberni Golf Club to host Iron Person tournament

Course will be slightly tougher; open to all ages of golfers including non-members

ARTS AROUND: Crafters wanted for annual Mistletoe Market

The Rollin Art Centre’s annual Christmas Market is just around the corner

Alberni Charity Golf Classic donates $60K to five charities

BC Children’s Hospital, four Alberni-based groups split proceeds

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Adoption centre closes despite effort to save it; B.C. left with two agencies

Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling in Victoria was set to close in April

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to meet with Trudeau today to discuss throne speech

Top ask will be for Liberal support for the immediate creation of a national universal pharmacare program

B.C. set to announce changes around youth vaping, regulations

Move will involved education, tightening access, working with partners and pressuring the federal government

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Most Read