Deacon, a 12-week-old Shepherd/Husky cross puppy, broke his leg after he fell from the back of a truck. His guardian surrendered Deacon to the Trail Branch of the BC SPCA -- his leg was plated and pinned at a cost of $1,625.
Every year countless animals are badly injured or lose their lives because they were not properly restrained in a vehicle. Dogs riding in the back of pick-up trucks are particularly at risk.
The BC SPCA, the RCMP and ICBC RoadSense have teamed up for an awareness campaign on the safe way to transport your pet.
The BC SPCA, RCMP and the ICBC launched a joint awareness campaign on in 2006. The goal of the campaign was to educate pet guardians on safe and responsible ways to transport their animals. The project was piloted in Prince George and implemented in other communities across B.C.
The campaign includes television and radio ads, public service announcements and an informational flyer that will distributed through the RCMP, community policing offices, ICBC, the BC SPCA and other community outlets, such as truck dealerships, veterinary offices, and pet supply stores.
The campaign will urge pet guardians to take the following steps when transporting their animals:
Keep your pet inside the vehicle. Use a secured crate or dog seatbelt to restrain your pet;
If you must transport your pet in the back of a truck, use a secured crate in the centre of the truck box; or
Tether your dog with secure and short harness to ensure safety from strangulation and death.
Safety: Dogs restrained with loose ropes or ties can accidentally hang themselves. Exposing your pet to the elements can also lead to heatstroke and hypothermia, depending on the weather.
Cost: Your pet could fall or be thrown out, sustaining serious injuries or death, leaving you with expensive vet bills. If your pet causes a subsequent collision, you could be held responsible for the costs.
The law: It's against the law. Section 72 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the transport of an unsecured pet in the back of a pick-up truck. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act you can also be charged for cruelty to animals if your pet is injured.
How to restrain the right way
1) Inside your vehicle
Unrestrained pets are a major distraction to drivers and can cause vehicle collisions. In a crash, pets become flying objects and can cause serious injury to themselves and others. In fact, a 50-pound pet, when traveling at speeds of 50 km/h, has the weight of approximately one ton.
Put the dog inside the vehicle with you.
Use a secured crate or a dog seatbelt to restrain your pet.
2) Other safe options
If you must transport your pet in the back of a truck, there are safe options available.
The safest method for transporting your pet is in a secured crate in the centre of your truck box.
At the very least, tether your dog with a secure and short leash to ensure safety from strangulation and death.