Heather Peters was completely dumbfounded by what she saw. She was driving to get gas when she saw saw a motorhome vehicle in front of her and attached to the back was a large dog inside a plastic crate.
Not only did she worry about the dog being transported in such a dangerous way, the outside temperatures were hitting record highs in Abbotsford, British Columbia, soaring to 107F (41C) on the Sunday when she spotted the dog.
“I saw the crate and I said to myself, ‘Oh dear God, please don’t let there be a dog in there,’” Peters said in an interview with CTV News on Monday June 28, 2021. “So I pulled over to the side and I looked and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a dog.’ And he’s panting, his tongue was sticking out the side, panting like crazy, looking at me.”
She snapped some photos and began following the RV but couldn’t follow for too long as she was running out of gas. So she contacted police and posted her photos to social media to spread the word.
Not long after, Lisa Bohn and her husband also spotted the travelling dog. They said it looked like the dog had wet fur and was sliding around inside the crate. The were very concerned for the dog and decided to pull alongside the RV to signal the driver but told Castanet that they were ignored.
“He would not acknowledge us. His eyes didn’t even shift towards us,” Bohn said of the RV driver. “At that point, I was like, he knows what he’s doing. He wasn’t even flinching. If someone was doing that to me, I would look.”
They then tried to signal the female passenger but again they were ignored. So Bohn called police and also posted images to Facebook. “I was horrified,” said Bohn of what she saw. As news spread online she waited impatiently for someone to report that the dog had been located and was safe.
The same worry haunted Peters throughout the day. “I just want the dog to be safe, that’s all,” said Peters. Of the dog’s owners she said, “I want them to realize that you cannot transport a dog like that, that’s wrong.”
The two women were not alone in spotting the distressed dog that day. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) issued a press release on the Sunday after receiving repeated calls. And on Monday afternoon came the good news that the dog had been located and he was safe.
“The dog has now been located in Oliver, B.C., and is doing well,” Osoyoos RCMP detachment’s Sgt. Jason Bayda said in a news release.
Oliver RCMP are now consulting with BC SPCA enforcement officers to determine what charges may be brought against the dog’s owners and “the next steps to ensure the dog’s continued safety,” they added.
It was welcome news to Peters who said she needed to act to help the dog. “I have never, ever seen anything like that in my entire life,” she said. “The dog can’t speak up for himself, so somebody else has to.”
Update: Jul 2, 2021
The dog is now safe in the care of the BC SPCA after a warrant was issued to seize the dog.
The BC SPCA has also recommended charges of animal cruelty be laid against the dog’s owner to Crown counsel. For now, the dog is not available for adoption in keeping with legal procedure. The German Shepherd is being looked after in an undisclosed location by the BC SPCA.