Dog safety top priority as Subaru teams with D.C.-based nonprofit (VIDEO)

Subaru is in a partnership with the Center for Pet Safety to fund the testing of pet car safety restraints. (Sandra Mu/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – For those who like to drive with man’s best friend, efforts are underway to improve safety for both people and pets while on the road.

There are all sorts of dog harnesses and restraints available for purchase that claim they’ll keep pets out of the way and safe during a drive.

A few years ago, the Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit group based in the D.C. area, tested some of these products using crash test dummy dogs.

The center, which is not affiliated with the pet product industry, says none of the four popular harnesses it tested in simulated 30- mph crashes worked effectively to protect dog and driver from injury.

Now, automaker Subaru has teamed up with the center to fund more research.

The ultimate goal is to come up with safety standards for pet travel products – standards that don’t exist today.

The video below shows a crash test dummy dog in a simulated car accident, using a restraint. While the video does show the restraint’s failure, on the center’s Facebook page the organization says it’s not trying to discourage owners from restraining pets, but instead is highlighting a problem.

“Please know that we support the use of tethers and containment of pets during travel – and we’re working to ensure that we have a way to measure performance of these products in the future – to ensure safety for all passengers – 2 legged or 4 legged.”

Editor’s note: The dummy dog shown in this video is not a real dog. The Center for Pet Safety never uses real animal in any of its tests.

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