Fines can now be levied to pet owners who leave their dogs inside hot vehicles in the Central Okanagan.
One of the provisions within the new dog bylaw adopted earlier this year by the Regional District of Central Okanagan allows Dog Control officers to ticket anyone who puts their pet(s) at risk inside a vehicle.
The portion of the bylaw, section 33, reads:
No owner shall cause or permit his or her dog to be confined to an enclosure or a vehicle without adequate ventilation and sufficient shade to protect the dog from excessive heat and direct rays from the sun. Conversely, cold weather precautions should be taken as well.
Regional District communications officer, Bruce Smith, says the fine for such an offence is $150.
Surrey and Calgary both have similar bylaws with fines up to $500.
Langley also has a hot dog bylaw while the City of Kamloops may also look at similar legislation.
While literally hundreds of calls come in to the SPCA and RCMP every summer in the Central Okanagan concerning dogs inside cars, Smith says to his knowledge only one ticket has been written since the bylaw was enacted.
According to Smith tickets would only be written at the request of the SPCA.
"Because the SPCA deals with animal welfare, it would be on their recommendation that if the dog was deemed by them to be in distress we would write a ticket to the owner," says Smith.
"We are not the experts in determining whether the dog is in distress or not. They are."