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

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read