“Safety for all passengers, including our pets, is very important to Subaru and to our drivers. Selecting the wrong harness could be just as detrimental as not using one at all,” said Michael McHale, director of communications at Subaru of America, Inc. “Most pet owners don’t know the dangers of not properly harnessing their pet while in the car. With nearly half of Subaru drivers also being dog owners, we want them to be as informed as possible.”
Subaru and CPS enlisted MGA Research Corporation, an independent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contracted testing laboratory, to conduct rigorous crash testing on commonly available pet safety harnesses using realistic, specially designed crash test dogs. Testing was performed using multiple, specially designed crash test dogs developed by CPS, including a 25 lb. terrier mix, a 45 lb. border collie and a 75 lb. golden retriever. The life-like dog models provided a realistic representation for testing purposes, similar to the testing conducted for human occupant safety.
“Subaru and CPS share a common love for pets and safety, and it is our mission to communicate to pet owners that an effective harness should keep the pet in place to prevent distraction to the driver as well as offer measurable levels of protection to all passengers in the event of a crash,” said Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety. “I, like many people, consider my dog to be a part of my family, and dogs need to be secured with harnesses that have been tested for safety the same way car seats and seat belts that protect our family members have been tested, both for the pet’s safety as well as the safety of all passengers.”
The overall results of the testing indicated Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness as the clear top performing harness brand, as it was the only harness tested to consistently keep a dog from launching off of the seat and the only restraint deemed to offer substantial protection to all passengers, including the dog, in the event of an accident. If a pet launches off of the seat, it can strike a human passenger or risk serious contact injury to the dog from internal structures in the car.
“Sleepypod has been researching and crash testing pet safety restraints in autos for six years because we’re serious about safety,” said Michael Leung, Sleepypod co-founder and product designer. “We admire CPS and Subaru for conducting this study on behalf of pet owners and use the CPS testing protocols as an extension of our own safety program.”
Pet owners may purchase Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness on www.sleepypod.com. Subaru will also be offering these harnesses for purchase through its Subaru Gear catalog and at dealers in the near future.
All manufacturers whose products graduated to crash testing in the study were issued courtesy invitations to attend product testing. Those companies that were unable to attend were contacted with their test results, and several companies are already working to make improvements and enhance quality control. To view the full study results please visit www.CenterforPetSafety.org. More information about how to keep pets safe in vehicles can also be found on www.Subaru.com.
The Center for Pet Safety is not affiliated with the pet product industry. The organization uses scientific testing and references Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to study pet products and establish criteria and test protocols to measure whether pet safety products provide the protection claimed by advocates and intended by the manufacturer.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.
About the Center for Pet Safety
The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety. Based in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, the Center for Pet Safety's mission is to have an enduring, positive impact on the survivability, health, safety and well-being of companion animals and the consumer through scientific research and product testing. For additional information visit www.CenterforPetSafety.org.