Posts Tagged ‘independent organization’

I emailed CPS this afternoon to ask a few questions and they’ve replied with some great new info I thought Four Paw Drive readers would appreciate. My questions are bolded, their answers follow.

Will you be testing other restraint methods (i.e. crates, dog transport boxes, cargo dividers, pet car seats, etc.)? If so, any idea of the timeline for those? 

Yes, we are working on all classes of travel products – as funding permits.  We are currently expanding on the pilot study.  We are test planning for a more comprehensive harness study and completing the crate study.  We are working to become a nationally recognized oversight organization for the pet product industry.

How much does it cost to run a study like this pilot one you just released data from?

The cost of each study depends on the amount of products tested and the type of tests performed.  Our founder spent well over $10,000.00 on the pilot study alone.  Dynamic tests are typically well over $1000.00 – $1500.00 each, and when you add the development and construction costs of the specially designed, weighted and instrumented crash test dog, the testing expenses add up quickly.  Hence the importance of funding to further our mission.

Consumers typically think that the pet product manufacturers would assist with funding studies like these, however, that is simply not the case.  CPS is independent of the pet product industry and cannot accept funding from them – since it could be construed as and indication of bias.  CPS is looking to pet product consumers, special interest foundations, animal welfare, travel safety organizations and consumer safety organizations to help fund the mission.  CPS is in a critical fundraising mode and will be launching some funding campaigns in the near future. 

(There’s a new Crash Test Doggies campaign on Indiegogo that started today for example.)

Can pet owners help in other ways in addition to donations? If so, how?  

Absolutely!  CPS welcomes the help in getting the word out about the mission.  Tweet, Facebook and Share!  The more people talking about our work, the more funding we’ll get and the more research we can complete.  If you own a pet, and believe in the CPS cause – you’re a part of this mission.  We will be working to engage volunteers in the near future.

They’ve also offered to set up a phone meeting between myself and the founder if I’d like to learn more and ask more questions, so loyal readers, what would you like to know about CPS and their work?!

A new organization, The Center for Pet Safety, has released data and videos from its pilot study on pet vehicle restraints today. The results are far from encouraging unfortunately. Of the four harnesses they tested, in both dynamic and static tests, not a single one restrained the canine crash dummy without injury. Three of the four tested harnesses are manufactured by companies that claim their products ARE tested in some way, too!

The CPS did not release the names of the companies whose restraints were tested and they do a good job of obscuring identifiable parts of the harnesses during the tests recorded on video, but of course there is certainly speculation about which harnesses are involved in the study.

Watching the four videos on CPS’s website about the pilot study does underline some common failure points:

  • If a dog is secured with clips or clasps, those often break first. In one video, the clip remained in place, but the D ring attaching it to the harness broke free almost immediately.
  • The front design of the harness is important to prevent neck and chest injuries. One harness almost decapitated the dummy when it slid upward during the crash simulation!
  • Adjustment points can allow the fit to shift during a crash. Another harness tightened across the dummy’s chest during the simulation, possibly causing additional injuries.
  • The amount of slack in the tether system used can allow too much forward motion. Several harnesses allowed the dummy to come in contact with the front seat, which could mean injuries for both dog and humans in the front seat!

I have always suspected that most crash testing is designed to ensure that the dog doesn’t become a flying projectile vs. actually preventing injury to the dog as well and, unfortunately, these tests seem to confirm that suspicion.

I did contact CPS to obtain the full report, and they have given me permission to share it with my readers here at Four Paw Drive. The document can be found here:

I’m so happy to see The Center for Pet Safety working on studies of this nature, even if the results are disturbing. Perhaps having an independent assessment group will encourage various pet product manufacturers to improve their products so that they can keep both people and their pets safer in accidents.

If you agree, please consider donating to the cause! CPS is a non-profit organization and they need donations to continue studying various forms of pet restraint. To donate, please visit: – they even take vehicle donations!

Note: Several of our facebook fans have already contacted well known companies about their involvement (or lack thereof) in this study; it will be interesting to see how the companies respond to these inquiries. If you do the same, please share any details you’re able to obtain with everyone here on the blog and/or on facebook! Well informed is well prepared!