By Josette Salameh

How to deal with animal abuse on the road

 

 

 

At first glance, you might think the owner is doing him good by allowing him to breathe fresh air and enjoy the sun. But if you look closely, the dog is petrified!

josette_dog
The dog has a prong collar around his neck and could fall any moment

He has a prong around his neck and is tied up with a chain to the car leaving him little space to move and not even allowing him to sit. The dog was trying to pull himself inside the car of fear of falling. This is no humane way to take your dog on a ride, not to mention the prong collar! One false move and the dog is dead!

I could feel my blood rushing with heroic ideas on how to save the dog; I wanted to bump into them and release him, but we all know that’s not the sane way to do it. I felt helpless. I still do.

In case you spot similar cases on our roads in Lebanon, here’s what you can do:
  • Stay calm. Losing your head won’t help anybody; especially the dog
  • Remember, this is a traffic violation and you CAN get the police involved if you do the right thing
  • Call 112 – the internal security – and report the case as a traffic violation
  • Focus on the traffic violation and not the dog, as our police take road security and safety violations very seriously
  • Keep in mind that saving dogs is not within their scope of duty but they will do their best to keep the roads safe; the dog in a vehicle’s open area is considered a hazard. The dog might jump or fall and cause accidents/traffic
  • Reporting such scenes to the police stressing on the law, will keep the dog in a safe place till the ride is over

After all it is up to us to provide our furry friends and family with a good environment. Our small actions will help them live a better/safer life. We just have to make the right decisions.

How to safely transport your pet in a vehicle

Here are few tips to consider on how to keep your furry family member safe during car rides;

Picture by Cynthia Barikian
  1. Use crash-tested crates.

Think of it this way, if you were to buy a camping tent for yourself, the main factors you’d consider are:

  • The size; you need to fit comfortably
  • Air circulation; so you don’t suffocate while in it
  • Good insulation; so it confines with all seasons
  • Crash bags for extra security in case of emergency breaking.

The same factors apply to the crates, simple.

  1. The Dog seat belt!

Yes, I was as fascinated as you are when I found out they exist!

I know it is not mandatory by law to have one for your dog here in Lebanon, but it ensures a safe and secure ride. In case of an emergency break they keep the dog in place and prevent them of being thrown off their seat, given that dogs do not have the same gripping ability we humans have. In case you need to leave the car your dog may want to follow you, sometimes to places where he can get hit by a moving vehicle. It also gives him room to move and change positions, while enjoying the view!

  1. Breaks are good; have a few.

If you are traveling by car for a long distance, make sure to have a stop every 2 to 3 hours and let them go out, stretch their legs and do their business.

  1. switch off power windows.

    Picture by Christiane Rouhana

Make sure to regulate the windows in a way your pet is getting fresh air and is safe at the same time. It’s easy for them to accidentally clear open the windows with their paws. Overexcited dogs are known to jump out of a moving vehicle. Taking the wrong step might even cause the window to close on their neck and chock them.

  1. Bring water and a bowl!

Always store a bottle in your car, as part of an emergency kit. You never know what might happen; whether it is a short or a long drive. The bowl is not mandatory; your dog can always drink from your cupped hand.

Keep in mind that it’s never safe to drive with your pet in your lap, to let them ride in the open area of your vehicle (like our fellow driver did here) or to leave them unattended inside the vehicle, especially when the weather gets warm.