Animal services

Salt Lake County Animal Services Encourages Pet Seat Belts After Crashes Kill Dogs

Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — We all know seat belts save lives, but there’s one passenger that’s often overlooked: your pet. Salt Lake County Animal Services is encouraging pet owners to use seat belts for their dogs after responding to several accidents recently.

“I have responded to two accidents in which two dogs have died in the past month and a half,” said Salt Lake County Animal Services Officer Gerri Cantor.

Cantor believes that dog seat belts can make all the difference in an accident. They help keep your pet in the vehicle.

“It keeps your pet out of windows, it keeps your pet away from first responders so you can get medical attention,” she said.

Cantor said while it may seem like more work for pet owners, it’s worth taking the extra steps to protect them.

“The extra 10-15 seconds to keep everyone safe is worth it,” she said. “We tie up our children and we can also tie up our pets.”

Teresa Wilhelmsen and her black lab Emory do everything together, including car rides. “She’s a phenomenal dog, she really is,” she said. Their bond is undeniable. “It’s my crazy monkey, my completely crazy monkey.”

Wilhelmsen credits the pet seat belt she uses on Emory with protecting her during an accident a few months ago at 2100 South and State Street.

“I remember seeing the car hit us and looking in the rear view mirror and seeing (Emory). She was in the back seat, still where she was supposed to be because of the seat belt “Wilhelmsen said. Neither was injured in the crash.

She hopes others will learn from their experience and continue to wear Emory’s seatbelt during car rides.

“I’ll never wear it with her belt on again now,” Wilhelmsen said.

Seat belts for dogs can cost between $10 and $15 and can be found at pet stores or online.

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Ashley Moser

Ashley Moser joined KSL in January 2016. She co-presents KSL 5 Live at 5 with Mike Headrick and reports for KSL 5 News at 10.

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