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September 1, 2015

Keeping a pet safe is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner.

While keeping most pets safe in the home isn’t too difficult, keeping them safe outdoors is a whole different ball game. On top of the safety issues faced while outdoors, there are challenges to keeping pets safe in the car. Even when a pet is riding within a crate or carrier, accidents can happen, and an accident can have devastating consequences.

To give our readers a little more insight into car safety, the feature story this month is about the crash testing of harnesses, crates and carriers. Many carriers are labeled as crash tested but most of us really don’t know what that means. With input from the Center for Pet Safety and some manufacturers that crash test their carriers, this article sheds some light on the subject and hopefully will help retailers recommend crates and carriers to their customers.

While on the subject of safety, I hope that readers encourage all pet owners to transport their companions in crates, carriers or other species-appropriate fashion. I’ve seen too many dogs bouncing around in backseats and I’ve heard of too many people just keeping rabbits or ferrets on their laps. This is a dangerous situation for the animal and sometimes for the driver.

I’ve been guilty of unsafe animal transportation practices in the past. One time when coming back from giving an educational talk, I let my large iguana ride in the back window of my car. For some reason, she decided to jump from there to the front, ending up clinging with her sharp claws to the back of my head. Luckily, I didn’t lose control of the vehicle and aside from a few scratches on my scalp and a bruised ego, no one got hurt. But that could’ve been very bad. I learned my lesson.

Switching gears, the other major feature of this issue is our inaugural presentation of the Pet Age Icon Awards. We created this award to honor some of the leaders of the pet industry who have shown a long term commitment to its success. These individuals have been among the movers and shakers of this industry and I suspect you might recognize some of their names. Congratulations to all the winners!

Obviously, there are more icons in the pet industry than we could honor in one presentation. For anyone who didn’t make it this year, I wish you the best of luck next year.

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