Letters: Have Pet, Will Travel ... Safely

Pet owners respond to a California proposal that would make driving with a dog in your lap illegal. Two women describe accidents involving their dogs: One was restrained and the other was not.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Here are a few of your comments about Thursday's program.

Some ears perked up for our story about a proposal in California to make driving with a dog in your lap illegal. The bill's in the state assembly, it's drawing support from animal protection groups who say, pets pose a danger on the road.

Ms. MADELINE BERNSTEIN (President, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles): They can become, you know, projectile missiles, they can cause an accident, they can impair your ability to react to an accident, and they can get hurt.

SIEGEL: That's Madeline Bernstein of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles.

I used to be an owner who let my dog ride unrestrained, writes Shelley Taylor(ph) of Lafayette, Indiana. But once I got a booster seat for my mini poodle, Lizzie(ph), it all changed. She continues, on my way to my parents' place one Christmas, I hit a patch of black ice and flew over a ditch. When I looked over at Lizzie, that's the mini poodle, she was sitting calmly in her booster seat restrained by a harness watching cars pass by.

I understand many will be angry because they feel the government is trying to take away their rights. But pets should have a right to protection too.

We also got this message from Pamela Cabolt(ph) and her boxer lab, Rosy(ph), of Asheville, North Carolina.

A couple of years ago, I was cruising out of town on I-40 with Rosy's chin on my shoulder, this is Pamela writing. Suddenly, I had to break for traffic, Rosy came flying forward. Unbeknownst to me, she also knocked the gear stick into neutral. All I knew was that for a few long seconds I had no control of my car. Well now, at the suggestion of a local pet shop owner, I simply put her in the seat behind me and close the door on her leash. It's good to know she is secure and ready for quick release. Rosy sends her regards.

We'd like to hear your comments - and those of your pets, if you like, just go to npr.org/contact.

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