The BC SPCA is reminding members of the public to make sure pets are safely secured in their vehicle when travelling this summer.
Unrestrained pets are a major distraction to drivers, and can cause collisions. In a crash, pets become flying projectiles and can injure themselves, the driver and passengers. Dogs restrained in the back of trucks with loose ropes or ties can accidentally hang themselves. Depending on the weather, exposing your pet to the elements can also lead to heatstroke or hypothermia.
“This time of year [summer] we start to see more people taking their pets, particularly dogs, with them on road trips or camping. We recommend that pets are kept inside the vehicle in a secured crate or restrained with a dog seatbelt,” said Lorie Chortyk, SPCA’s general manager of communications.
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. Dogs can also be secured using short leads that are cross-tied to the animal’s harness.
It is against the law to transport an unsecured pet in the back of a pick-up truck under Section 72 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act and Section 9.3 of the B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Unsecured dogs often fall out of the truck resulting in severe injuries, death and endangering nearby motorists.
“If you see a dog that is unattached in the back of a pick-up truck call 9-1-1 to report the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle and provide a description of the dog,” said Chortyk.
To help keep roads safer for pets and people this summer, people are encouraged to keep pets secured inside vehicles and are asked to report sightings of any unsecured pets.
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