Buckle Up Pets For Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/17/06

Buckle Up Pets For Safety

There is not a law requiring you to buckle up your pets, but not doing so could be harmful to both you and your pet in the event of a crash.

"Most people in a car crash are injured by something inside the car. Coffee cups, cds, backpacks, books, even animals become flying objects that could hurt the driver and passenger, so again be smart with pets," says Corporal John Gonzalez with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety.

Stone is a border collie that loves to ride in the car. Liz Grant is a pet trainer at Petsmart and knows how important it is buckle up dogs like Stone. Grant says, "You'd hate for your dog to get thrown from the car and just like us, it's important to keep them in their seats the entire time. You don't want them to run around. It's also distracting if you have a dog running around in your face. It's hard to drive safely."

NewsChannel 11 put that theory to the test. We took Bo Riley on a ride and he sat very still in the back seat. He was not very distracting but he did slide a bit when we stopped suddenly. Next, we took Milo for a ride. He was very excited and jumped from the front to the back seat. He also jumped in the driver's lap making it very difficult to drive.

Fred Duke with Allstate Insurance says, 'If you had to stop short, an animal would fly through the air and hit you or hit someone else in the car. You would restrain your children in the car to protect them from an accident so why not your pet in the same way?"

Grant says you can protect your pet with a simple restraint. Grant shows us a few different restraints. "This is just a padded harness. This is really good for aggressive kind of dogs. It also couples as a walking harness," she says.

Some restraints act as harnesses. Others simply latch onto the seatbelt. Grant says, "This one goes through the loop on the seatbelt itself and the dog can't go anywhere." Grant says it's important to make sure the restraint is installed correctly and fits securely.

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