Over the last 24 hours it has come to our attention through several media sites that have picked up the original article published by “Stuff” that the head vet at the Aukland, New Zealand SPCA has slammed The Rocketeer Pack by ZugoPet. Center for Pet Safety has attempted to provide commentary on this article on the publication’s website, only to be denied a voice by the publication.
We have chosen to respond via the following:
The head vet at the Aukland SPCA has a clear lack of understanding about the dynamic forces exerted in a sudden stop or crash. Her recommendation of “creating a pen in your boot with blankets and a grill” is irresponsible for both consumer and pet passenger safety. We understand that pets are not children, however, they are living creatures that add significantly to our quality of life and deserve proper protection during travel, just as the human vehicle occupants deserve protection.
Loose pets in a vehicle (demonstrated by the setup recommended by the SPCA Veterinarian) become projectiles in a sudden stop or crash. We have received reports of pets involved in vehicular crashes being suddenly ejected through glass and thrown into oncoming traffic. Improperly secured pets are subjected to blunt force trauma, and in the worst cases, spinal injuries leading to paralysis and death. Human vehicle occupants are also at significant risk of contact injury if the pet becomes a projectile. Properly securing your pet using a crash protection device as represented by the products proven in the Center for Pet Safety Certification Program protects the human vehicle occupants and gives the pet the best possible chance of survival in a crash.
While we understand that this innovative harness product is different than anything introduced before for pet travel, ZugoPet was responsible in their due diligence. ZugoPet not only initiated significant research and development from an engineering perspective, but also consulted with veterinarians, a Veterinary Orthopedic Surgeon and conducted extensive consumer trials to ensure the comfort and safety for the position of the pet using the harness product. Before allowing the brand to pursue certification, Center for Pet Safety requested evidence from an authoritative expert to ensure the position of the pet was appropriate and structurally safe. We realize that this harness is not appropriate for every pet and we encourage pet owners to visit our website and learn about other CPS Certified products including those manufactured by Sleepypod and Gunner Kennels as other options for both larger and smaller pets. We continue to grow our certification program and are anticipating other brands voluntarily certifying their products in the new year.
Center for Pet Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and consumer advocacy organization. We launched our CPS Certified program in the consumer interest in response to the highly unregulated $70Billion pet products industry. Our goal through this program is to guide pet owners to the safest products on the market and allow pet owners to make educated buying decisions. Center for Pet Safety leadership volunteers hundreds of hours every year providing educational opportunities to pet product manufacturers interested in pursuing scientific product testing and possibly vying for certification from our organization. We have counseled hundreds of brands around the globe. Our testing program is rigorous and passing the testing is not guaranteed. Elite performing products that pass testing are awarded an opportunity to display our seal on their product packaging.
Center for Pet Safety engages authoritative experts in our work, including veterinary, passenger safety experts, university researchers, credentialed engineers and other expertise as required. As the passenger safety industry has matured over time, we anticipate similar improvements in the pet products industry as Center for Pet Safety’s research continues grow the knowledge base.
Lindsey A. Wolko, Founder, Center for Pet Safety