Many pet car restraints failed crash tests
LOS ANGELES - Many car restraint devices intended for dogs have failed crash testing done by a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization, raising concerns over what the organization called a "highly unregulated" industry.
Lindsey Wolko is the founder of the Center for Pet Safety. She called the group's test results "shocking."
Of the nearly 300 dog restraint products the group has tested, just 15 have passed. Wolko said CPS has been crash testing restraint products for dogs using four-legged fake dogs or crash test doggy-dummies since 2011.
Los Angeles has seen in recent months some of the dangers resulting from dogs not being restrained in cars. In February, two separate dogs were caught on video jumping out of cars onto LA-area freeways. Both of which survived. During a crash, however, the results can be much worse.
The CPS has produced videos of what happens during a sudden stop or a crash with a pet inside the car. Wolko said, unrestrained, the animals can go flying like a missile and strike a driver in the head, and that it's even happened before.
"The industry is highly unregulated with little or no oversight," Wolko said.
The Federal Trade Commission for instance, said it will investigate complaints of false advertising in the industry, but not product safety.
When it comes to our pets, Wolko said, "The government looks at them as property. They're no different than luggage in the eyes of the federal government."
SUGGESTED: LA nurse saves dog on 5 Freeway in dramatic rescue
That's not to say individual companies don't do their own tests. Some do, but as Wolko said, because there's no federal oversight, unsafe products can get onto pet store shelves.
"You don't know if they're safe, and I think that is a major message to pet owners," Wolko said. "If you buy a product off the shelf there are no protections in place. The products may not be safe and you as a pet owner may be unaware and that's the challenge we're up against."
More information and crash test results from the Center for Pet Safety can be found at centerforpetsafety.org.