Life turned on a dime one afternoon on Highway 154, the pass between Santa Barbara, California and Santa Ynez. Diane Stevenett was traveling with her dog Jake. The car was crammed with lots of art supplies, including a giant white roll of paper, painting accessories, brushes, watercolors, music lesson equipment, and Jake “the Great” took up all of the 2nd row of seats behind the driver, his usual spot.
When they got into a traffic jam, her car was the last in line when a raised black monster pickup suddenly appeared and tried to “shoot the hole”. The car in front of her swerved sideways, exposing her car to the giant truck.
The collision was inevitable. Within seconds the car was wrecked, blood and glass all over Diane and Jake as it was slammed against the windshield. Both were eventually thrown from their cars onto the road. Jake and Diane survived this serious accident, but Jake’s internal injuries later caused his early death. The heartache of the whole thing was a great struggle for Diane.
Jake and his health condition forced Diane to believe that she could have protected Jake from the accident if she had followed some safety precautions… if not completely, then to a much greater extent.
According to a major car service company, more than 80% of dog owners drive their pets in their car. Over 84% who drive their pet do not secure them in the car. In 2013, 172,000 children were involved in car accidents with injuries and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that of those accidents involving children who were injured, more than 80% had pets on board. It’s not just about the pet…
Diane Stevenett, co-author of the new international award-winning book How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster was Jake’ the Great’s mother years ago and reflects: “Had I known what I know now, I would have been better prepared and possibly could have reduced Jake’s chance of injury. My research to be better educated and prepared led me to write this guide.”
2 X Chicken Soup For The Soul Best-selling NY Times author Raymond Aaron said after seeing the book How To Save Your Pet From A Disaster, THE essential emergency guide for feathered friends and fur babies: “If you are a pet owner, this book is is a “Must Read” because you know how pet care weighs so much on your heart. There is no other book, so complete and authoritative, on the vital subject in the pet industry. I highly recommend it! Give one today another present!”
You love your pet and there are things you can do with ease and peace of mind knowing your precious pet is safer and ready for your next trip. Be “pet prepared.” Remember that your pet can become your “therapy animal” in an emergency, so think ahead and protect him as you would protect your child.
3 tips for traveling with your pet: how to save your pet from disaster
1. Consider Microchipping (Page 16): Unbridled pets can dart out of cars, making a bad situation much worse.
2. A harness around your pet’s chest to secure it to the seat will more evenly distribute the tension or stress on the body during an accident, reducing the chance of injury. Tying the animal only by its collar around the neck can strangled the animal or have its neck broken. (Page 20, 30)
3. Secure the pet to the seat belts. They are made to stay connected and secured in the event of an accident. (Page 33)
Old pets need special care and protection. Their reaction times are slower,
they are more vulnerable and emotionally unstable.
Besides car accidents, there are literally hundreds of other tips and suggestions you haven’t thought of for a wide variety of situations. Being prepared suggests that you brainstorm as much as possible and start implementing the tips that seem most important to you.