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Thread: Dogs in cars

  1. #1

    Default Dogs in cars

    OK. I can see why I should restrain a dog in a car. If I have to brake fast, or I hit something, it MAY help the dog and it MAY stop 25 Kg hitting me in the head and breaking my neck.

    HOWEVER.....I look at most of the harnesses for dog restraint and I reckon they will not save the dog much, without breaking its back. So we come to actually controlling the dog from getting in the way or snapping my neck.

    So far I have the impression that NSW law is the toughest...but it has nothing to do with the dog as a missile. but more about the dog causing an accident. Yet there is this feeling that you MUST have your dog restrained or else.

    Anyway....there must be actual laws about this. But all I can find is anecdotal evidence and unlinked statements, They make broad sweeping statements that are then apparently dissed by the the next unsourced claim.

    Has anyone a link to actual info, with real info to back it up? State by state?
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Qld
    Posts
    228

    Default

    It seems like it's just common sense. If you're going fast enough to worry about the dog breaking it's back, you need to be worried about you crushing your head in on the steering wheel. A good tip for station wagons and (possibly) hatchbacks is like a luggage cage thing - I'm fairly sure they just slot into the back somehow, I've never actually looked at one closely but you can buy a bunch of diff. sorts to fit different cars. You could put them in there, unrestrained - then they can't get thrown into the back of your head. Still might get some broken ribs or legs from break-neck speed though. I don't have this problem because my dogs only get taken out in the ute, not the hatchback, but they're always tied up (short chain for each - they can only just stick their heads out the side, but not get their chest out).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

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    Here is the link i used for Victoria. Im sure other states have their own Dept of Sustainability.
    Dogs On Moving Vehicles - Department of Environment and Primary Industries

    Basically, providing i put a piece of cooked spaghetti tethering my dog in back of ute, im fine. No restrictions on what that tether is made of.

  4. #4

    Default

    Yeah it's all a bit squishy until TSHTF, as usual.

    I have driven for....more years than I care to think about, with unconfined dogs in cards and never hurt one yet. Mind you I have never had a prang either.

    In the end I bought a padded, metal framed folding thingy that I will secure in the bus. The cages look like they would do damage in a car and look a bit tough on the dog. This will I hope do the job. I am going to put 35mm of foam at the front and bus wall side, leaving the other sides to mesh.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  5. #5

    Default

    Dug this out of another forum :-
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Laws around the land

    ACT
    Dogs are required to be restrained on the back of a moving vehicle under the Animal Welfare Act 1992, said Lee-Anne Wahren, Policy Officer within Environment Planning and Legislation, who is responsible for reviewing all animal welfare policy in the ACT Government.

    Ms Wahren said correspondence from the RSPCA regarding injuries to animals handed in to the society and a number of veterinarian reports initiated the amendment to the Act in 1999. The maximum fine for breaching the law is $2000.

    Victoria
    The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 requires dogs to be restrained on moving vehicles, said Dr Stephen Tate, Director of Bureau of Animal Welfare within the Vic Department of Primary Industries. The maximum fine for breaching the law is $500.

    Mr Apostolidades, who has been RSPCA inspector for 23 years, said the number of dog injuries in Victoria has dropped dramatically since the legislation came into effect in 1995.

    In Victoria, only police can stop a vehicle carrying an unrestrained dog but an RSPCA inspector can take the registration number and trace the owner or follow the vehicle until it stops and then question the owner. Mr Apostolidades said the RSPCA is now putting in a submission to amend the law to be able to issue a Personal Infringement Notice (PIN) to offending drivers, instead of the matter going straight to the Magistrate's Court. If drivers choose to contest the notice, the matter would then go to court, he said.

    Queensland
    Having an unrestrained dog on a moving vehicle could breach both the Transport Operations (Road Use Management -- Road Rules) Regulation 1999 and the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

    The Transport Operations Regulation, administered by the Department of Transport, states it is an offence to have an unsecured load on the back of a vehicle and that applies to dogs, said Dr Rick Symons, Manager of the Animal Welfare Unit within the Qld Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

    The Animal Care and Protection Act does not specifically mention dogs restrained on vehicles, but it places a duty of care on owners of animals to ensure the welfare needs of animals are met.

    "It is an offence under the Act for a person in charge of an animal to breach this duty of care by transporting the animal in a way that is inappropriate for the animal's welfare," he said.

    A breach of duty of care can result in a fine of $22,500 (and up to five times this amount for a corporation) or one year's imprisonment.

    Northern Territory
    The Animal Welfare Act 1999 states, "A person transporting an animal must do so in a manner that does not unreasonably or unnecessarily inflict suffering on the animal."

    Peter Brice, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee Executive Officer for NT, said the Act replaced the old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is primarily enforced by the RSPCA. Breaking the law will incur an on-the-spot fine of $100.

    "Everybody in the Northern Territory has a ute," Mr Brice said. "They pop a couple of dogs on the back and go hunting on the weekends, but (the law) is widely publicised and it's accepted."

    NSW
    The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 requires a dog to be restrained on the back of a moving vehicle or enclosed in such a way as to prevent the dog falling from the vehicle.

    The maximum penalty is $5500 or six months in jail, according to Dr Ian Lugton, Senior Veterinary Officer within the Animal Welfare Unit of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Dr Lugton said by March he expects officers to have authorisation to track down offenders involved in motor vehicle offences by following up on the vehicle's registration details.

    Western Australia
    No legislation specifically requires dogs to be restrained on the back of moving vehicles, however the Animal Welfare Act 2002 states a person in charge of an animal is defined as being cruel to an animal "if the animal is transported in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm," said Vicky Nazer, Research and Administration Officer within the Animal Welfare Branch of the WA Department of Local Government and Regional Development.

    "So in a case where the Act of transporting a dog on a ute was causing it, or likely to cause it, unnecessary harm, the person in charge of the animal could be charged with an offence of cruelty under the Act," Ms Nazer said.

    The maximum penalty is $50,000 and imprisonment for five years.

    South Australia
    Transporting unrestrained dogs is against the law as provided in the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995. The Act was amended in 2004 to include the legislation.

    Deb Kelly, Manager of the Animal Welfare Unit within the SA Department for Environment and Heritage, wrote the policy regarding the issue.

    "The purpose of the restraint in utes is really three fold," Ms Kelly said. "First, there is a safety issue of the dog falling out of the ute and causing an accident for the car behind. Second, the safety of the dog itself, and third, to address the issue of a dog left in the back of a ute that bites people going past."

    The maximum fine if breaking the law is $750.

    Tasmania
    The Dog Control Act 2000 states, "The owner or person in charge of a dog must restrict the dog sufficiently while it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle."

    RSPCA Tasmania Chief Inspector Graeme Lewis said only police officers could enforce the law. Breaking the law has a maximum fine of $500.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    All the above seem to be in relation to having a dog in the back of a ute. I can see issues arising if a cop pulls me over and tells me he is fining me for having 9 unrestrained dogs in my 4x4 wagon.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    I had Meika unrestrained on the back seat of my car once, got pulled over for a random breath test and the cop spent a good 5 minutes gushing about how cute she was and patting her (made me put the window down) before actually breath testing me...

  7. #7

    Default

    Some more information for Qld:

    No Cookies | The Courier-Mail

    'oldNick' - a link for you - this is the dog seat belt recommended - there was a blog on it - but they have recently updated their website - so now I can't find it !

    Ruff Rider Roadie Car restraint | K9 Pro

    Most people who show or do sports with their dogs use crates in their cars or barriers of some sort to keep their dogs safe. Crates are also used to keep the dogs contained at the different events they attend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Old Nick

    My impression is there are no specific Australian road rules requiring a dog to wear a "seat belt" or otherwise be restrained inside the cabin of a regular car.

    But they must be properly secured if they're travelling in the back of an open vehicle - there is a separate category for dogs, but I think it comes under the general secure your load principle.

    There is something specific about the dog not being allowed in your lap when you're driving.

    And you're not allowed to lead your dog running outside your car while you are inside it - as passenger or driver, and that applies to any critter - no dragging dog, horse, cow by a lead from the car (or a bicycle or any "vehicle").

    You can get done for negligent or dangerous driving if you allow your unrestrained dog to distract you while driving.

    And I agree there is no product out there that would do anything but break the dog's back in the case of an accident - except maybe some crates. There is a rather horrid german crash test video showing four different car harnesses failing plus a standard plastic airport crate - cracking up under the impact - but it looked a bit better than what happened with harnesses.

    I did a little bit better looking for a dog sling - the sort of thing used to help a dog walk by holding handles on the harness - so there is support all the way along the dog's back and you can pick the dog up and carry it by those harnesses. I think if they didn't fall apart under sudden stop conditions (plastic buckles will fall apart) then they might be good candidates for crash protection harnesses or dog seat belts.

    I'm thinking about going to my local horse rug shop and getting something custom made or modifications to a sling / dog carry harness.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hmmm, yeah this is all very ute related....with the odd really stupid "you were not carrying the dog to prevent injury" type of stuff. Obviously it's meant to catch really bad acts of negligence and cruelty, but some idiot power hungry person can make it nasty for you.

    ....and it's not just cops/RSPCA. I had a mate recently who left his dog in the car while shopping. He had a nasty note on the shield when he got back about how dogs can die in cars andf they had taken his number are were going to report him to the RSPCA. He was very distressed about it, and I had to assure him that this was just twaddle...the temperature that day was about 17DegC and it was cloudy. Just nasty, power-needy and stupid.

    But yeah I read theat NSW has a law about unrestrained animals...only utes?

    Whatever, our girl Tess now has the soft cage, strapped in, with sheepskin in the floor and views all round. We are going to be doing 4-7 hours / day for weeks, basically, at 100KPH plus. So even without laws she has her moving palace.

    But I do wish the laws were better stated and not just blanket and it's up to the cops and the courts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nev Allen View Post
    Dug this out of another forum :-
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Laws around the land

    ACT
    Dogs are required to be restrained on the back of a moving vehicle under the Animal Welfare Act 1992, said Lee-Anne Wahren, Policy Officer within Environment Planning and Legislation, who is responsible for reviewing all animal welfare policy in the ACT Government.

    Ms Wahren said correspondence from the RSPCA regarding injuries to animals handed in to the society and a number of veterinarian reports initiated the amendment to the Act in 1999. The maximum fine for breaching the law is $2000.

    Victoria
    The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 requires dogs to be restrained on moving vehicles, said Dr Stephen Tate, Director of Bureau of Animal Welfare within the Vic Department of Primary Industries. The maximum fine for breaching the law is $500.

    Mr Apostolidades, who has been RSPCA inspector for 23 years, said the number of dog injuries in Victoria has dropped dramatically since the legislation came into effect in 1995.

    In Victoria, only police can stop a vehicle carrying an unrestrained dog but an RSPCA inspector can take the registration number and trace the owner or follow the vehicle until it stops and then question the owner. Mr Apostolidades said the RSPCA is now putting in a submission to amend the law to be able to issue a Personal Infringement Notice (PIN) to offending drivers, instead of the matter going straight to the Magistrate's Court. If drivers choose to contest the notice, the matter would then go to court, he said.

    Queensland
    Having an unrestrained dog on a moving vehicle could breach both the Transport Operations (Road Use Management -- Road Rules) Regulation 1999 and the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

    The Transport Operations Regulation, administered by the Department of Transport, states it is an offence to have an unsecured load on the back of a vehicle and that applies to dogs, said Dr Rick Symons, Manager of the Animal Welfare Unit within the Qld Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

    The Animal Care and Protection Act does not specifically mention dogs restrained on vehicles, but it places a duty of care on owners of animals to ensure the welfare needs of animals are met.

    "It is an offence under the Act for a person in charge of an animal to breach this duty of care by transporting the animal in a way that is inappropriate for the animal's welfare," he said.

    A breach of duty of care can result in a fine of $22,500 (and up to five times this amount for a corporation) or one year's imprisonment.

    Northern Territory
    The Animal Welfare Act 1999 states, "A person transporting an animal must do so in a manner that does not unreasonably or unnecessarily inflict suffering on the animal."

    Peter Brice, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee Executive Officer for NT, said the Act replaced the old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is primarily enforced by the RSPCA. Breaking the law will incur an on-the-spot fine of $100.

    "Everybody in the Northern Territory has a ute," Mr Brice said. "They pop a couple of dogs on the back and go hunting on the weekends, but (the law) is widely publicised and it's accepted."

    NSW
    The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 requires a dog to be restrained on the back of a moving vehicle or enclosed in such a way as to prevent the dog falling from the vehicle.

    The maximum penalty is $5500 or six months in jail, according to Dr Ian Lugton, Senior Veterinary Officer within the Animal Welfare Unit of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Dr Lugton said by March he expects officers to have authorisation to track down offenders involved in motor vehicle offences by following up on the vehicle's registration details.

    Western Australia
    No legislation specifically requires dogs to be restrained on the back of moving vehicles, however the Animal Welfare Act 2002 states a person in charge of an animal is defined as being cruel to an animal "if the animal is transported in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm," said Vicky Nazer, Research and Administration Officer within the Animal Welfare Branch of the WA Department of Local Government and Regional Development.

    "So in a case where the Act of transporting a dog on a ute was causing it, or likely to cause it, unnecessary harm, the person in charge of the animal could be charged with an offence of cruelty under the Act," Ms Nazer said.

    The maximum penalty is $50,000 and imprisonment for five years.

    South Australia
    Transporting unrestrained dogs is against the law as provided in the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995. The Act was amended in 2004 to include the legislation.

    Deb Kelly, Manager of the Animal Welfare Unit within the SA Department for Environment and Heritage, wrote the policy regarding the issue.

    "The purpose of the restraint in utes is really three fold," Ms Kelly said. "First, there is a safety issue of the dog falling out of the ute and causing an accident for the car behind. Second, the safety of the dog itself, and third, to address the issue of a dog left in the back of a ute that bites people going past."

    The maximum fine if breaking the law is $750.

    Tasmania
    The Dog Control Act 2000 states, "The owner or person in charge of a dog must restrict the dog sufficiently while it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle."

    RSPCA Tasmania Chief Inspector Graeme Lewis said only police officers could enforce the law. Breaking the law has a maximum fine of $500.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    All the above seem to be in relation to having a dog in the back of a ute. I can see issues arising if a cop pulls me over and tells me he is fining me for having 9 unrestrained dogs in my 4x4 wagon.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Old Nick
    My impression is there are no specific Australian road rules requiring a dog to wear a "seat belt" or otherwise be restrained inside the cabin of a regular car.
    There is something specific about the dog not being allowed in your lap when you're driving.
    And you're not allowed to lead your dog running outside your car while you are inside it - as passenger or driver, and that applies to any critter - no dragging dog, horse, cow by a lead from the car (or a bicycle or any "vehicle").
    You can get done for negligent or dangerous driving if you allow your unrestrained dog to distract you while driving.
    I'm thinking about going to my local horse rug shop and getting something custom made or modifications to a sling / dog carry harness.
    A more direct reply to your points...as a thank you for your effort and input

    (1) And yet there are heaps of rumours that NSW has rules about pets inside vehicles. Again because the laws are so hard to find and loose when you read them.
    (2) Dogs in laps are a special hate of mine. I appals me. What REALLY gets me is the people (and I have heard several) who keep telling you about how they can't keep the (usually little) dog out of their lap..and they tell you again and again...and you demur, trying to be polite and they remind you again. They KNOW it's wrong and I reckon what they want is a friendly grin that signals approval....the best they get from me is a disapproving silence. ....sorry..rant off....
    (3) Woah! Dogs on leads from vehicles (including bikes, of which I see far too many)....that probably outweighs dogs in laps. Just soooo bad.
    (4) Unrestrained distractions. Now here we venture into cloud land again. It's tough. We see ads on TV about Mom and the fighting kids, where she crashes as she turns to stop them....what is "unrestrained"? Noise...actions? I mean a dog that barks incessantly in a car could be actionable here... and that is NOT nit-picking IMO. I am tough on car barking for that reason.
    (5) Yeah I wondered about a heavy canvas jacket because it spreads the load. I have several horse blankets laying around (and not a horse in sight...long story in which I NEVER had a horse ) Crikey if it allowed a broken leg it's better than the chest harnesses. The only trouble there is heat and air flow....maybe shade or trampoline mesh? Shade mesh is actually remarkably strong and resilient to impact force.....try punching a hole in some..... DAMHIKT.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

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