Safely Transporting Canines and Felines

by Margaret-Ann Irving of Fur Fettish Farm

Pets are not safe loose in your vehicle…period…for any reason! Whether it is only a trip to get the mail or a lengthy journey, your dog (or cat) should be either in a crate that is seat belted in, or in a proper harness designed for that size of pet that can also be safely seat-belted in. Animals loose in a vehicle are a projectile! You need to always “think safety” when you have your pet with you on a road trip. They are trusting you with their life, literally! You would not think of taking your child, or grandchild, for a drive around the block without proper restraint; so, why would you think your pet would be safe should you get in an accident?

I have seen way too many drivers with a dog loose in the back of a moving vehicle or, worse yet, between them and the steering wheel. Exactly where do you think this dog will go in an accident? If your dog is in the open back of a truck, it will be thrown from the vehicle at a speed not intended for dogs to travel. Take a moment to visualize the end result of when your loved pet hits the pavement or gravel road! If your pet is between you and the steering wheel, where do you think the bones from this crushed animal will go?

Someone once wrote a book, that I read many years ago, titled There Are No Stupid Dogs. There is not a truer statement! There are no stupid dogs; there are however, well-meaning owners that have the attitude we see in youth… it will not happen to me! No one can foresee an accident. That is why they are called accidents! Safety is thinking ahead to prevent that accident. Confining your pet is thinking ahead, anticipating something that may never happen, and protecting an animal that cannot protect itself from what “may” happen.

Take a minute to look into those eyes that trust you with their life. Take a minute, and then ask yourself if that extra moment that it takes to properly confine your beloved pet would be worth it. I hear so many times about how much people love their pet, and then I see them do things with this same pet that does not show this love.

I have made this statement many times, and hope I live long enough to make it many more times… “God put me on this earth to speak for animals that cannot speak for themselves.” I am not a bleeding heart; there are times when “the right thing to do” means putting our pets down. Unfortunately, hearts sometimes overrule heads…and 100% of the time, the human has caused the animals to be injured or poorly mannered in the first place…and 100% of the time the animals pay the price with their lives!

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