Southern Interior worst for animal-related crashes

ICBC stats put the interior at 4,800 incidents in 2017

With the sun coming back to the Okanagan, more owners are letting their pets take in the nice weather after a long winter of being cooped up.

With more pets joining their owners for jogs, more walks along trails and beaches, more car accidents involving animals are likely to happen.

ICBC crash statistics show that the Southern Interior has the most accidents involving animals over the past five years, with 4,000 incidents in 2017 resulting in two deaths. The stats include crashes with both domestic and wild animals.

While the number of dogs or cats or deer is not specified in the ICBC statistics nor where exactly in the Southern Interior these crashes happened, Dr. Oz with Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital notices the increase of car-related animal injuries after the winter in Kelowna.

“It’s this part of the year, dogs and cats start to explore again,” said Dr. Oz. “I would say that we barely have any (incidents) during the winter, and then it’s on a weekly basis that an animal comes in during the summer.”

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“When the sun comes out we have more issues,” said Dr. Oz.

Leashes are definitely recommended for pets when they’re out and about, said Dr. Oz. He said the use of back-up and side cameras have also saved drivers and animals from animal-related car accidents.

Though it’s usually the excitement of the outdoors and not being stuck inside all day, Dr. Oz said that animals can get hurt in more ways in the summer including fights with other cats or dogs, and over-playing with pent-up aggression and excitement.

Owners are warned to be vigilant when taking their pets outdoors this summer. This includes ensuring they do not overheat, dehydrate or run into any other kind of trouble.

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