The Gray Line Tour: Why are pets left at risk?

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 18, 2002


All right, I hope someone can please explain this one to me.

In the last several days, and three times on Thursday, I have paid attention to a practice which I see as silly, hazardous and downright dangerous.

Innocent lives are placed at risk in this practice, yet it appears to be widespread, and nobody appears to think twice about it, until the unthinkable happens, and the loss is keenly felt.

The practice is riding around in cars and trucks with dogs along for the ride, sometimes sitting in the next seat or in the back seat or draped across the inside of the back window.

People! This is dangerous! I’ve seen people riding around with three and more animals loose in their vehicles, clambering from front to rear or rear to front. Their owners pet and talk to them at traffic lights, and apparently don’t consider the possibility of getting in an accident or causing an accident because of the distraction.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love animals. I have had pets for most of my life. I do not need to cart them with me everywhere I go. In fact, I think it’s a sign of love to leave them at home, safe and secure, and not placing them in harm’s way.

I know there will be some who will say they bring their dogs with them for security’s sake, but there are other common-sense precautions one can take, from being more selective where you park to carrying some pepper spray. I’ve had guns pointed at me three times in my life, so I do know what that fear is.

However, I can’t believe that people carry their pets EVERYWHERE they go, and they also often leave them IN the locked car for long periods of time.

That is likewise dangerous, especially during Louisiana summers, just as it is for small children.

Please, leave the animals at home unless you’re transporting them to or from the vet or going hunting. At that, they should be secured in cages. Be a responsible pet owner.

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.