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Last week’s fatal crash of a motor home and sport utility vehicle near Verona, Wisconsin that resulted in the deaths of 55 year old John Seier of Dubuque, Iowa and 13 year old Travis Brune of LaMotte, Iowa is being blamed on a dog that jumped onto the lap of the driver of the motor home, causing the motor home to cross the center line of U.S. Highway 151 and collide with the SUV.

This is not a matter of blaming the dog; it is the fault of the pet owner who chooses to drive with an unrestrained pet. Driving with an unrestrained pet as a passenger presents a risk to everyone on the roadway. Pets can be unpredictable in their behavior, and any unrestrained object in the cabin of the vehicle can cause injury or distraction to the driver, resulting in the kind of tragedy that happened here.

Families heading out for summer camping trips with pets need to take precautions to avoid hazardous situations that can injure other passengers and highway users.

Dane County Humane Society spokesperson Gayle Viney commented about dogs traveling in cars be crated, gated off from the driver or otherwise restrained:"There are harnesses for every type of dog, every weight, size, which go around the dog and hook on to the seat belt."

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