Approximately 38,640,000 dog owners in the U.S. do not restrain their dog in the car. Many pet owners are not aware of the dangers an unrestrained dog in the car can bring. Distraction, accidents, injury, and at the very worst, death are just some to name a few. It’s time to raise awareness and educate pet owners on the truth about dog safety in the car. It's time to ask, what about Fido?
I recently reached out to the online community asking for stories and experiences about dogs involved in car accidents. I will be writing a series of posts (#whataboutfido) highlighting the responses and the importance of dog safety in the car.
The focus of the story today is about a dog who became a projectile in an accident.
I spoke to Maria who had a 46lb Australian Shepard. Her name was Lucy and she loved car rides. Maria took Lucy in her 2015 Chevy Equinox at least twice a week. Lucy went to doggie daycare every Tuesday and Thursday and, on the weekends, she went to the park.
Lucy was a very well-trained dog, therefore, Maria never felt unsafe with her in the car. She never jumped in the front seat, barked, or ran around the vehicle. Lucy always laid on a blanket in the middle of the back seat. Maria never considered restraining Lucy since driving with her was never an issue.
On the day of the accident, Maria was driving to doggie daycare to drop Lucy off before she went to work. Maria was driving on a two-lane route that had a speed limit of 65mph. She was driving along between 65-70mph when the driver in the opposite lane unexpectedly swerved into her lane. Maria tried to avoid the car but as accidents do, everything happened so fast. It was a devastating accident.
Maria was hit almost straight on by the other car. The impact sent Lucy flying since she was not restrained in the vehicle. She became a projectile and was flying with 3,000lbs of force. Lucy went right through the front windshield and landed on the side of the road. Maria was severely injured as well.
Maria was conscious but unable to move. She was shocked and startled at what had just happened. As people began to pull over to check on her, she cried out for them to find Lucy and check her condition. A good Samaritan found Lucy and took her right to the animal hospital.
Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do for Lucy. Her injuries were too severe for surgery. She died soon after she arrived at the hospital.
While Maria was recovering in the hospital she got the devastating news that Lucy did not make it. Maria claims this was one of the worst moments of her life. The pain and devastation were indescribable. To this day she can’t tell the story without getting choked up.
This story, unfortunately, ends in tragedy. If Maria would’ve been aware or educated about properly restraining her dog in the car, Lucy could still be alive. It is hard for Maria to look back now without regret.
Dogs should never ride unrestrained in a vehicle. They should be restrained in the back seat of your vehicle using a dog restraint system also referred to as a dog car seat. We buckle up ourselves and loved ones, why not Fido?
Car accidents are just that, accidents. They are unexpected and unplanned, but you don’t need to be unprepared. When it comes to dog car safety, it is better to be safe than sorry.
A dog car seatis a one-time purchase that has so much more meaning than just a cute dog accessory. It can be a life-saving product for your beloved pet.
I will be posting these stories weekly! Our mission with this campaign is to raise awareness about dog safety in the car. Although, this topic may be unpleasant to think about it is important. Please share this story with others using the hashtag #whataboutfido and let’s get the word out to keep Fido safe!
Would you like to be part of the #whataboutfido campaign? Do you have a story to share that and could help save lives? I would love to connect with you and feature you in an article! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.