The Other Kind of Accident, Part 1

Posted: June 12, 2012 in The Other Kind of Accident
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This is the first in a series of stories shared by those who have been in accidents while traveling with their dogs. The goal of this series is to share anecdotes that may help others determine the safest travel options for animals in vehicles.

Have a story yourself? Four Paw Drive wants them all, regardless of the accident’s severity!  Send them to our email address:


Stories 1, 2, and 3:

I’ve been in two minor accidents where I’ve put a car into a ditch.

The first time, my dog was basically unrestrained. He usually travels in a crate, but I couldn’t fit one in my sister’s car. He had a leash attached to his regular collar, looped around the seat, to try and prevent him from distracting me as I drove. The car went into the ditch and he swung by his collar and hit his knee on the dash. It was a low speed collision, and if he’d been crated or harnessed, he’d have been fine. Instead, he was lame for about a week while it healed.

The second time, I was driving a very full SUV. There were two dogs in crates (one in a sherpa, one in a varikennel, quite small for her) in the back, along with a huge amount of stuff. I went nose-first into the ditch/snow bank. Again, I wasn’t going that fast, but a loose dog would have ended up under the dash or flying around, for sure. Both dogs were totally fine. The only thing damaged in the accident were the front bumper (from scraping along the ground) and the toy guitar that was in the back!

I also had a near miss a few months ago. I was traveling in my small car with both dogs crated in the back (two varikennels, side by side across the back of the car, so the doors face the sides). I emergency stopped to avoid a semi truck who was not paying attention, and heard both dogs thunk against the sides of their crates. Both were totally fine. Again, loose, I expect they’d have hit something.

  1. Siberian Sue says:

    I was driving a Saab 900 years ago and slid into a ditch, with the car completely sideways. My dog was loose in the back seat and ended up standing on rear passenger’s door as if it were the floor. The car was completely on it’s side. Thankfully, I could climb out and the farmer who lived in the nearby house got his tractor and pulled me out. No damage to car, me or dog.

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