Source: Global News (Extract)
Posted: May 31, 2023

Sunshine, and plenty of it, is in B.C.’s forecast for the next week.

And few things beat travelling the province during warm weather. However, if you have pets, having them inside your vehicle is the safest place for them.

That’s according to the BC SPCA and the B.C. Highway Patrol, who say seeing dogs in the back of pickup trucks is thankfully becoming a thing of the past but it’s still concerning.

“It’s not a common call now, but they do happen,” Cpl. Mike Moore of the BCHP said of dogs in the back of trucks.

“It’s a concern because if the truck was to get into a crash, or a rollover, the animal could be ejected from the vehicle and it has no protection.”

Having an unleashed animal in the back of a vehicle is illegal. But if that pet is travelling in a crate that has been tied down, it’s legal.

Under Section 72 of B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, “a person commits an offence if the person transports a living animal on the running-board, fender, hood or other exterior part of a motor vehicle unless a suitable cage, carrier or guard rail is provided and is attached adequately to protect that animal from falling or being thrown from the vehicle.”

Moore said that “according to the act, it’s not good enough just to have your dog, for example, in a cage. That cage has to be attached securely so it doesn’t fly out.”Still, both the SPCA and BCHP say pets shouldn’t travel in leashed crates on hot summer days.

“If you keep them in crates, they can’t release their body heat quickly (on hot days),” said Eileen Drever, BC SPCA spokesperson, who equated it to wearing a fur coat on a hot day.

“It’s best to leave them at home. Don’t take them with you.”

Moore also said drivers shouldn’t be travelling with pets on their laps, as they can be distracting.

“People care about their pets like the way they care about their children,” said Moore. “You wouldn’t leave a child in a hot vehicle and you shouldn’t leave a pet in a hot vehicle, either.”

The SPCA says if you see an animal being transported in a way that’s causing them distress to contact its animal helpline at 1-855-622-7722.