September 6, 2016
Social Media Misinformation - Dogs in Hot Cars
Kamloops, B.C. – There is false information circulating on social media, suggesting that people can photograph a dog in a hot vehicle along with the current temperature, in order to be protected legally, if they smash a window to remove the dog.
The City of Kamloops would like to clarify that this information is not accurate and should be avoided as it could result in a person being liable for damages incurred to a vehicle, and/or for unlawful entry into the vehicle.
In British Columbia, the only agencies that can legally enter a vehicle through use of force and without a warrant (ie. smashing a window) to retrieve an animal, are the BC SPCA and police, or agencies assisting them such as Bylaw Enforcement Officers. This authority is strictly limited to when an animal is in “critical distress” – defined as a situation where the animal is suffering and in pain to such degree that immediate veterinary intervention is necessary to prevent the death of the animal. Entering a vehicle without the owner’s permission is therefore an extraordinary measure that should only be actioned by local authorities when it is deemed absolutely necessary through a proper assessment of the situation and the condition of the animal.
Public efforts, when a dog is seen in a hot vehicle, are best focused on notifying local authorities promptly with the vehicle information and location, and by assisting to find the owner of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Although the weather is starting to cool, the best option of all is for animal owners to be considerate of their pets and leave them at home during warm weather travel. Let’s make sure this type of situation is avoided altogether.
Public complaints about dogs in vehicles that may be in distress can be directed to Bylaw Enforcement at 250-828-3409 or the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.
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