UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.
The dog that was seen being held in a crate strapped to the back of an RV travelling in B.C.’s Interior has been found and is doing well, according to South Okanagan RCMP.
“On June 27, 2021 several media agencies contacted the RCMP looking into the matter,” said South Okanagan media relations officer Sgt. Jason Bayda. “At the time, the location of the RV and well-being of the dog was unknown.
“I am pleased to tell you, that thank you to the public and media’s attention to this incident, the dog has now been located in Oliver, B.C. and is doing well.”
Police began investigating the incident that sparked social media fervor after it was reported that the RV was seen in Keremeos travelling towards Osoyoos.
Police believe the vehicle was travelling between the Lower Mainland and the South Okanagan.
The Oliver RCMP are now working with assistance from SPCA enforcement officers to determine how to charge the dog’s owner, according to a RCMP news release.
Both parties are also working towards the next steps to ensure the dog’s continued safety.
ORIGINAL: 1 p.m.
Residents across B.C. were infuriated and horrified by a RV driver’s actions after photos were posted to social media of a dog being carried in a crate strapped behind the recreation vehicle on Sunday, June 27.
The RV was spotted driving through the Interior during the province’s record breaking heatwave.
The RV was first seen near Hope and possibly later in Keremeos where concerned citizens snapped photos and reported the driver to the SPCA and the police.
Temperatures in the South Okanagan last Sunday climbed to highs above 40 C in some places like Osoyoos, Penticton and Keremeos.
The Keremeos RCMP detachment received a call about the dog Sunday night after a resident who had seen the Facebook post believed they saw the same RV travelling through Keremeos eastbound to Osoyoos.
Police in Keremeos then notified officers in Osoyoos who were looking for the vehicle but were unable to locate it.
As of Monday afternoon, the vehicle has not been located, but police have identified the Lower Mainland company that owns the RV and will be in touch to find out who was in possession of the RV over the weekend, said Osoyoos RCMP commander Sgt. Jason Bayda.
Police plan to speak to the SPCA and the BC Prosecution Service as part of their investigation to find out whether the driver’s actions legally constitutes animal cruelty and if charges will be laid.
“In this heat, it’s certainly not safe for the dog and you don’t know what kind of exhaust fumes are coming back from the vehicle to the crate,” said Bayda.
“I don’t want to speculate as to whether if it’s an actual crime…but certainly when I see the pictures it’s appalling for sure.”
During this heatwave it’s important to treat your pets with as much care as you would treat a person, said Bayda.
“Treat them as part of your family…keep your pets in air conditioned places as much as you can and give them lots of water,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate animals suffer from the actions of their owners sometimes.”
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By Bruce Cameron, Black Press Political Columnist