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Pet safety harnesses put to the test

(ABC News) Dogs are often called man's best friend. But if they're in the car when you get into a crash, you may be putting your canine buddy at risk. As it turns out, common safety harnesses may not be as safe as you think.
(ABC News) Dogs are often called man's best friend. But if they're in the car when you get into a crash, you may be putting your canine buddy at risk. As it turns out, common safety harnesses may not be as safe as you think.

And to keep them safe while riding shotgun, many travel experts recommend things like harnesses and crates.

GMA investigates has learned those so-called safety products may not provide all the protection they claim.

While many manufacturers claim to test their products, there are currently no uniform performance standards for pet travel safety products.

In a first of its kind study, the center for pet safety in partnership with Subaru of America has been testing dog harnesses and the results are downright scary.

“If you are in an accident, there is no guarantee the product will hold up to it,” said Lindsey Wolko, Founder of the Center for Pet Safety.

At the same facility used by the department of transportation CPS tested seven popular dog harnesses using a specially designed weighted test dogs simulating a collision at 60-miles per hour and found only two brands provided adequate protection.

Many of the others resulted in quote "catastrophic failure".

One harness tears. Another breaks.

And in the worst case, one comes off completely sending the test dog spinning through the air.

Eugene and Chris Kattak thought their two dogs Mojo and Mike were safe when strapped in the back with this seatbelt attachment.

But last October, Eugene was broadsided while driving with the dogs, and the attachment failed sending the dogs flying.

While Mike was fine, Mojo suffered a spinal injury and was paralyzed on his left side.

“I was devastated. He was so helpless. He was just laying in the crate and he couldn't do anything,” said Kattak.

But CPS says its not just harnesses that fail.

This never before seen video obtained exclusively by GMA investigates shows
CPS' first ever crash test of a wire dog crate. The results were devastating.

In a statement, the American Pet Products Association says it "does not have a formal position on the cps report" but supports "the effort to improve & enhance pet safety".

As for Mojo, he's getting his back. His paralysis turned out to be temporary. And he's learning how to walk again with physical therapy twice a week.

But emotionally, the Kattaks are still healing.

“I was angry because you start out with the intent to get something to make your pet safe.”
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