The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Safety Campaign Focuses on Unrestrained Pets in Vehicles

June 04, 2008

SAN DIEGO, CA --- Bark Buckle UP, a leader in the pet safety industry, has partnered with Volvo to launch a campaign that will educate pet owners nationwide about pet travel safety.

Kicking off at Volvo Cars' North American headquarters in Rockleigh, N.J., the Pet Safety Day campaign will teach pet owners how to properly secure their pets and travel responsibly this summer. From June through September, select Volvo dealers across the United States and Canada will host Pet Safety Days. Open to the general public and their pets, the safety events will teach pet owners about pet safety products and give tips for traveling safely with pets.

Christina Selter, Bark Buckle UP founder and pet travel safety expert, will visit select Pet Safety Days to answer questions, offer her expertise, and demonstrate how easy it is to keep pets safe.

"Seat belts protect millions of people every day," said Selter, who buckles up her dog Betty, even if she's just driving to the supermarket. "In the event of an accident, an unrestrained pet can escape and be hit by another vehicle, cause another collision, or attack emergency crews trying to reach an injured party. It only takes a few minutes to safeguard your pet and by properly securing your pet, you are protecting yourself, your passengers, and your pet from injury, not to mention protecting other drivers and strangers trying to help."

When driving 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield or passenger. Even if the animal survives, it can impede the progress of rescue workers who need every moment possible to safely care for accident victims. Pet restraints in moving vehicles are now required in many states and provinces since they offer several advantages -- they help protect pets in the event of a collision; keep pets from running loose and distracting the driver; and prevent pets from escaping the car through an open window or door. 

"We chose to partner with Volvo because we share a similar mission -- to provide safety for all passengers -- people and pets," said Selter. "Currently less than 2 percent of American pet parents restrain their pets while traveling. Our goal, together with Volvo, is to educate people to ensure that pet safety, before and after an accident occurs, becomes a top priority."   

Starting June 1, participating Volvo retailers will display the BarkBuckle UP Pet Travel Safety program information and offer visitors the first responder approved Bark Buckle UP Pet Safety Kit free of charge. Each Bark Buckle UP Pet Safety Kit includes an emergency pet card and safety decal. Both list important information -- if you have a pet at home in need of care if you are unable to care for it, who to call to care for your pet if they've been in an accident with you, and the name and phone number of the pet's veterinarian.

In the event of an accident, the information provided in the Bark Buckle UP Pet Safety Kit will help rescue workers properly seek care for your pet. Bark Buckle UP continues to work closely with fire, police and rescue officials nationwide to gain their support and teach them where to locate the emergency pet card and static sticker.

"Now is the time to educate consumers about the importance of pet safety restraints," said Daniel Johnston, product communications for Volvo Cars of North America. "Summer is almost here and with many travelers wary of flight delays, families will bring their children -- and their pets -- to destinations accessible by car. Few people understand how dangerous traveling with an unrestrained pet can be. That's why Volvo has partnered with Bark Buckle UP to support Pet Safety Days and provide the tools travelers need to keep all family members safe."

Bark Buckle UP recently awarded the Volvo XC90 the Pet SAFE vehicle of choice in America. To bring pet safety to the forefront and educate pet owners about traveling safely with pets, the Pet Safety Days campaign coincides with Bring Your Pet to Work Day on June 20 and Auto Safety Month in June. 

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