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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