N.J. authorities look out for pets in transit

It’s the time of year when you hear about the dangers of leaving pets in unattended vehicles on hot days. Now New Jersey authorities are warning about another pet hazard.

You’ve probably seen it – a dog with its head out of a car window or sitting on a driver’s lap.

New Jersey SPCA superintendent Col. Frank Rizzo decribes what might happen next in such a scenario.

“Can you imaging your dog being on your lap and then, all of a sudden, you’re next to a car, there might be another animal,” he said. “They get up and start barking, your view is obstructed, and you’re going to have a real problem operating your car.”

Rizzo says motorists transporting unrestrained animals might also be in line for a $250 ticket for inhumane treatment.

“We don’t want animals floating around in vehicles because anytime you’ve got to stop short or if you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, the result is going to be the same as if you had a child unrestrained in the vehicle,” Rizzo said. “They’re going to fly around the car and the potential for injury is very, very high.”

Rather than issuing tickets, Rizzo says authorities usually tell drivers how to safely transport their pets. He says a harness with a seat belt attachment is available in pet stores.

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