Dog owners in Surrey could face $500 fine for leaving dogs in cars

Surrey residents who leave their dogs in hot vehicles or loose in the back of a pickup truck could soon face fines of $500.

City council voted to approve recommendations to the city’s dog responsibility by-law to allow by-law enforcement officers and animal control officers to issue tickets directly to people who violate the ‘Care of Dogs’ section of the by-law.

“Recent tragedies have reminded us of the importance of being diligent in caring for our animals,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “These amendments will give our by-law and animal control officers the tools to effectively and expediently address the negligent treatment of dogs.”

“Temperatures in vehicles can rise to dangerous levels very rapidly in the summer season, posing a serious risk to dogs that may be in them,” added Watts. “We want to encourage pet owners to be mindful of this while enjoying the warm summer season with their pets in Surrey.”

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While animals cannot be removed from a vehicle by by-law enforcement officers under any circumstances, the BC SPCA and RCMP can still do so.

Surrey’s Dog Responsibility by-law addresses a range of issues relating to the keeping of dogs including:

• Adequate ventilation must exist anywhere a dog is confined, such as in a vehicle;
• Dogs must be transported in a safe manner which prevents their injury;
• Dogs cannot be tied up wearing a choke collar; and
• Dogs cannot spend more than four hours per 24 hour period tethered.

The most recent amendment to this by-law is expected to be adopted and enacted at the July 7 council meeting.

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