PUBLIC OPINION > Pets Should Not Be Required to Wear Seat Belts

Living 2012/06/13 21:00:00
New Jersey recently passed a law making it illegal to have unrestrained animals in the car. That means if you want to take your pooch to your parents, you'll have to figure out a way to strap it in. Failure to do so is now classified as animal cruelty, and could run residents up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. But penalties aside, we asked the public if pets should be required to wear a seat belt in the first place.

There was a variety of reasons for and against the law, but ultimately most people agreed that they didn't want the state telling them how to handle it. Some people have ways of transporting their pets that don't involve restraints, and have been using them for years -- moving the seats, holding them in their lap, etc. Some are comfortable restraining their pets, but don't want to be caught off-guard on a short trip. It's not a major issue, but government involvement seems a little unnecessary here.

Libertarians Don't Like It

As expected, politics played a central role in this discussion. The primary issue is not so much the logic behind the law as it is the fact that it had to be turned into one. Especially with the major penalties New Jersey is placing on it. Progressives, on the other hand, see value in the heavy-handed approach, arguing that the law will make sure people don't put their pets at risk.

Girls Give Support

Women were about 11% more likely than men to agree with the law. It's not much to go by, but maybe it's their nurturing side that makes them a little more sensitive to the needs of animals. Or maybe it's that small percent of women who dress their dogs in sweaters who think it would be cute to see a puppy in a car seat.

Older Voters' Opinions Vary

From the youngest voters, all the way up through about 45 years old, support hovered around 38%. However, after that, percents fluctuated. It wasn't for lack of sample size, either, as volume was consistent throughout. Voters between 45 and 55 only showed 25% support, while voters between 55 and 65 showed 45%. It may have something to do with who's responsible for strapping the animals in.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about pets and seat belts. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Vitalani 2012/06/14 00:21:11
    It's sad that people think this is just about animals jumping all over the car and causing accidents. most accidents are cause by PEOPLE not animals. The reason I think this should be a law is because it is in the best interest of the ANIMAL. You buckle up your kids? Buckle up your dog. If that idea confuses you then you don't deserve to have one. Simple.

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  • Alex Martin 2013/09/07 15:42:53
    Alex Martin
    Pets should wear seatbelts too. If they don't wear seatbelts then not only do they run a greater risk of serious injury or even death, just like human passengers, but they would get flung across the vehicle's interior if it crashed and the unrestrained pets could become projectiles and injure or kill a human passenger.
  • Gerald 2013/07/10 08:01:46
    This is just a form of taxation. Just another way to squeeze a little more money out of citizens. Only in America do we elevate animals over humans. Many people will step over a homeless person, just to help some stay dog. In American we treat animals, better than we treat people. Seat-belts for dogs, or $1,000 fine/6 months in prison? Dumbest things I've ever heard! People should flat out revolt against the law & refuse to recognize/obey it.
  • Roy Munson **SL, BD** 2012/11/30 11:47:42
    Roy Munson **SL, BD**
    i swear,animals are being treated like humans more and more everyday. buckle them in,dress them up,let them vote...
  • Roy Munson **SL, BD** 2012/11/30 11:42:22
    Roy Munson **SL, BD**
    seatbelts? wtf?
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/09/24 10:36:16
    Margaret Jacobson
    I think that putting a pet in seat faints CAN be a safety issue? A dog unrestrained CAN be projectile in a sudden stop or accident . I personally don't like the idea of the government me to "tie down the dog" , I urge people to use some common sense ......OU DECIDE FOR YOURSELF.
  • Gerald Margare... 2013/07/10 08:00:45
    And so can a bag of groceries in the back seat. Better buckle that up too! Give me a break. Seat-belts for dogs. What's it gonna take? At what point are Americans finally going to stand up & say. "Enough!" "NO MORE intrusive laws!". People need to tell lawmakers to GO "F" THEMSELVES & refuse to recognize/obey laws like this.
  • Jim Barnes 2012/06/28 15:26:09
    Jim Barnes
    Jesus. People just don't have anything better to do with their time. This is so friggin stupid. Don't get me wrong I love my dogs. But I have short cab ford truck and 3 dogs. Ill be damned if I'm gonna put all 3 dogs inside with me in a 3 seater truck while their jumpin around and tryin to get their heads out the window.. and u retards think "safety"? No its cuz u morons drive around in your stupid little jetta with your 1 little tea cup taco bell dog and whine and complain about how unfufilling your life is so you have to make stupid laws to piss everyone else off. How about more pressing issues u f-ing ass-oles! Like healthcare and border controll. Not wether or not f-ing fido is strapped in. GET A LIFE!
  • Doreen Jim Barnes 2012/06/28 23:15:29
    If you do not want your animals jumping around then leave them home. That is a problem solved. If your dogs will jump all over the place then they are not well trained and need to be. My German Shepherd is extremely well trained ( I trained him ) and he never jumped around the car or put his head out ( it is stupid to let them put their head out because it is not good for ears and eyes ) but because I did not have him restrained and I almost lost him to a sudden stop and that is where I learned my lesson. I hope that your animals do not have to suffer from an accident because of you lack of concern.
  • Jim Barnes Doreen 2012/06/29 03:46:33
    Jim Barnes
    One question. How large is the stick that's lodged up your rear end? Because you sound like an uptight bit*h who probably sorts everything she has alphabetically and by shape and color. In the 20 years I've had animals I've NEVER had a problem. My dogs (2 rottys and a doberman now) have always rode in the bed of my truck with NO problems ever. And now here you come brandishing your stupid remarks and uptight comments about how I don't have "concern" for my animals. Well look here u dumb dyke... its no one elses fault that your driving skills fall short of even the lowest of standards and that one near miss incident for you 100 years ago caused you to become such an uptight dipsh*t that forces you to feel the need to install 5 point racing harnesses for your dog who most likely has to endure YOUR daily routine which consists of chewing up his food for fear of choking, bathing him daily in hypoallergenic shampoo, dressin him up in sailors uniforms and buckleing him in a goddamn childs car seat. No one but you has these issues so remove the stick and live a little. Also die in a fire.
  • Doreen Jim Barnes 2012/06/29 13:29:47
    I am sorry that you have an anger problem and the only way you know how to talk is putting people down. If you want to know how I really am then meet me up for coffee ( my treat ) and you will see that what you say is wrong. I am actually a laid back person who could not stay that organized if I had a gun to my head. You are right I piss people off when I am driving because I am the idiot who goes the speed limit, uses my blinker ( even in a parking lot ), does not pull in front of people, and usually let people have the right away but like I said driving the way you are supposed to these days piss people off. I think dressing animal up is stupid and ridiculous ( the only thing I dress my dog with is his service dog band. Like I said if you want to come on down and I will treat you to coffee. I am sure that behind that anger you have been showing you are probably a nice person.
  • Jim Barnes Doreen 2012/06/29 14:36:33
  • spencerc143 2012/06/20 01:58:28
    It seems silly but the same thing that can happen to us (humans) in a crash can happen to our pets.
  • Doreen 2012/06/17 23:16:31
  • John Galt jr or Ron/jon 2012/06/15 22:12:53
  • Jaiheena Star 2012/06/15 20:24:18
  • Doreen Jaiheen... 2012/06/17 05:35:33
    A dog is not going to have fun getting a bug imbedded into their eye because their head is stuck out the window. The force of the wind can also hurt their ears. One day if you have a dog that lunges at people it could slip pass you if unsecured and actually bite the person or other animal. You may say your dog never acted like that before or is to well trained but you need to ask yourself "can you promise yourself beyond a shadow of a doubt that your pet will not act like an animal"?
  • Jaiheen... Doreen 2012/06/17 23:26:18
  • Doreen Jaiheen... 2012/06/17 23:34:49
    I do keep the window rolled down for my dog but he can not even stick his nose out though. There may only be so much that we can do for our pets because they are animals running mainly instinct but we can do things like restrain them to make their lives safer and our lives easier.
  • Jaiheen... Doreen 2012/06/17 23:37:47
  • Jim Barnes Doreen 2012/06/28 15:30:23
    Jim Barnes
    Oh My f*cking god!! Would you listin to youself?! What have dogs done since the dawn of the automobile? STICK THEIR F*CKING HEADS OUT THE DAMN WINDOW! Get a life looser!
  • Doreen Jim Barnes 2012/06/28 23:21:44
    From the way you talk you are obviously an angry person and I truly hope you can come to peace with yourself.
  • Jim Barnes Doreen 2012/06/29 00:54:21
    Jim Barnes
    I'll be at peace when morons like you remove the stick outta ur ass and realize that life dosent have to be that SCARY!
  • Jaiheena Star 2012/06/15 20:21:59
  • Doreen Jaiheen... 2012/06/17 05:39:43
    There are harnesses out there that keep that from happening and you will most likely have to do a little training also. Look online or an animal specialty shop not at PetSmart or Petco. If that does not work leave him home unless going to the vet.
  • Jaiheen... Doreen 2012/06/17 23:22:48
  • Doreen Jaiheen... 2012/06/17 23:38:22
    Those Chow Chow's are a stubborn bunch.
  • Jaiheen... Doreen 2012/06/23 20:03:28
  • dandieselonian 2012/06/15 15:31:08
  • kobidobidog 2012/06/15 14:54:13
    No. fear of what will happen to the body makes more, and more restrictive laws. laws do not protect the soul. Love like Jesus loves, and forgives,and eternity with eternal joy is yours no matter what happens in an accident. Your pet already has an eternal soul in them.
  • jgh57 2012/06/15 07:24:56
    Hell No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • will 2012/06/15 01:17:02
  • Sang Huynh 2012/06/15 00:47:38
    Sang Huynh
    Lol wut?
  • kobidob... Sang Huynh 2012/06/15 15:00:11
    Fred has no clue as to the repercussions of letting go of a stretched rubber band. He is going whack his face with a rubber band having no clue as to cause, and effect.
  • Skywalker 2012/06/14 22:41:05
    Top News: What will America think of today???

    Why cant we just deal with our own problems the way we want to?

    And out PETS?!?!
  • Doreen Skywalker 2012/06/15 00:13:35
    When our own problem involves letting a pet run around the car distracting us while we are supposed to be paying attention to the road and then hit someone it becomes their problem to. If someone hit you, your mother, your sibling, your friend, or whoever you may care about and they get seriously injured or killed and it could have been simply avoided by keeping their pet secured how would you feel then? If you have a pet in your car and have to do a sudden stop and the pet flies into the windshield and gets seriously injured or killed and you could have easily prevented it how would you feel?
  • Israel Doreen 2012/06/15 12:20:06
  • Skywalker Doreen 2012/06/18 19:07:27
    I'd feel exactly the same. It would be my fault if that happened, and i would take responsibility for it. And i should have a choice. It would of been my choice to let my dog run around the car. I dont think a LAW should be made for it. Sure you can strap your dog in if you want to, but im glad i have the option to NOT do it.
  • Doreen Skywalker 2012/06/18 19:16:02
    Yes, you do have the right ( at this time ) to endanger your dogs life even though he/she has no say in being protected or not. Yes, you do have the choice whether you injure or kill someone because you simply choose to not be safe ( at least for other people ). It is a good feeling that we have the choice to hurt or kill someone just because we do not want to be responsible.
  • Skywalker Doreen 2012/06/18 19:27:10
    I wont always have an animal with me in the car. I highly doubt that i will think "well better strap my dog in" especially when im rushing. Maybe the dog is dying and putting a seatbelt on it isnt my first thought. Its not being irresponsible its more like being practical.
  • Doreen Skywalker 2012/06/18 19:36:27
    I understand that but if your dog is actually dying then it will not be jumping all over the place distracting you. If someone is in that much of a hurry for something else then maybe they should just leave the pet at home.

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