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ConsumerWatch: Subaru, Pet Safety Group Test Out Dog Seat Belts

(CBS) - Subaru teamed up with Center for Pet Safety in an effort to create seat belts for pets, but the results of these harnesses were not promising.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Sleepypod's Clickit three-point safety harness was the only one that successfully stopped a dog from being launched out of the seat. Seven harnesses were tested overall.

A 55-pound dummy dog was used during testing to see how the harnesses would hold up if they were in a car involved in an accident going 30 mph.

"The Center for Pet Safety conducted a pilot study which showed that the majority of pet safety restraints currently on the market do not provide acceptable protection in a crash situation," Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications, said in a press release in March. "As many of our owners have dogs, we feel it's our responsibility to help them keep their pets as safe as possible when they journey with us."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Subaru will offer the Sleepypod's Clickit as an accessory in its automobiles.

"Our work is as much about human safety as it is about pets. If one of these pet safety devices fails in an accident, a human life may be in harm's way," Lindsey Wolko, founder of the nonprofit group, said in a press release. "Our preliminary crate testing has uncovered a serious concern around passenger safety, which is the reason consumers are demanding we expand the harness testing with a crate study."

Wolko added, "We will offer constructive guidance to consumers to ensure they are as safe as possible until the standards for these products are in place."

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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