Pet crash tests show most restraints don't keep pet on seat

HOUSTON - If you've got a dog who loves to take a car ride, you'll be glad to hear there are new safety tests underway to measure the effectiveness of those popular dog harnesses.

Leslie Wolko's English Cocker Spaniel was injured when she got tangled in the restraint.

"Then I slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident, Maggie went flying," Wolko recalled.

Test video using stuffed animals shows what can happen when a dog is launched off the seat during a crash. Wolko's organization, the Center for Pet Safety, started testing dog harnesses in 2011. All four of the products it tested, failed.

"What we're seeing in the crash testing is even though the dog is attached with a harness that has been tested, the extension tethers are too long and the dog continues to launch off the seat," Wolko said.

Crash tests done by the Center for Pet Safety found that the majority of the restraints on the market don't keep your pet on the seat at the point of impact but manufacturers for restraints say it could actually save your pets life.

Gordie Spater, owner of Kurgo says videos produced by his company show unrestrained dogs flying through the car, in crash tests. Kurgo manufactures dog restraints.

"There's been a lot of innovation that continues and we keep on everyday continue to improve these," Spater explained. "Eight-five percent of peopleĀ  are doing nothing to restrain their dogs, they're running around in the car, they're a distraction," he added.

Wolko says not every manufacturer does adequate testing and wants an industry standards as well as cars with sturdier connections points to harness your pet.

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