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

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Submissions sought for Boswell Beginnings and Beyond

A new edition is planned fo an an out-of-print Kootenay Lake history book

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Nelson Leafs lose to Dynamiters 4-3 in overtime

The game got off to a bizarre start early in the first period

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read