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‘Hot dog in vehicle’ fine exists in Langley City, but not in Langley Township

Surrey passed a bylaw calling for $500 fines if dogs are left in hot vehicles, but the City has had a similar bylaw in place for years.

On June 25, Surrey approved a bylaw that would see people fined $500 for leaving a dog in a hot car.

In the Township, no bylaws exist to protect dogs stuck in poorly-ventilated vehicles. And it isn’t known whether Langley will look at fining dog owners, said Sean Baker, animal shelter manager.

“I have not been in discussions with the Township about such a bylaw,” said Baker.

Senior Township bylaw officer Bill Storie was away so was unable to comment.

Baker pointed out that Langley City has had a similar bylaw to Surrey on the books since 2006. There, a person can be fined $100 if the dog is to be found in a poorly ventilated vehicle on a hot day.

So far, this year, police and/or LAPS have been called seven times about dogs left in hot cars.

Four calls came in June and three in May, clustered around the hot days. In 2013, there were 21 calls in total.

“For a population of over 100,000, that isn’t a lot of calls,” Baker said. “What that tells me is most people get it, that you don’t leave a dog in a vehicle on a hot day.”

But in light of the recent tragedy where six dogs died of heat exhaustion after being left for at least an hour in the back of a dog walker’s truck on a hot day in May, many people are calling for tougher penalties around leaving dogs in hot cars.

When someone finds a dog appearing in distress in a hot vehicle, they should call LAPS or the RCMP.

“If we get the call first, we go out and assess the situation. If the dog needs to be removed, we call the RCMP. I can assure you that the RCMP are there quickly and very attentive to this issue,” Baker said.