Astute followers of dog laws probably know that Hawaii already has a law against driving with your dog on your lap, and that Arizona, Connecticut, Maine and some Canadian provinces have distracted driver laws that can include suspect behaviors, such as having a dog on your lap.
Rhode Island and Oregon are considering similar laws, and it’s probably not too far in the future that dogs at the wheel or roaming freely in the back seat will be mere images of a nostalgic past.
Veterinarians, of course, still see dogs injured or worse due to unscheduled falls out of the back of pickup trucks, in spite of such rides being illegal in nearly every jurisdiction.
The new laws are designed to protect people, not dogs, but everyone’s natural instinct nowadays is to buckle up when getting into the car, and if we love our pets and want to prevent accidents, is it not intuitive to buckle them up also? Wearing helmets on bicycles went from seeming a superfluous, overprotective nuisance to an absolute necessity in the space of a single generation. Dog seat belts may follow a similar course.
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