Attendees to the Chicago Auto Show were treated to a woof-errific time when Bark Buckle UP -- the recognized leader and experts for pet travel safety -- awarded the Pet Safe Choice Awards at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.
This year, Bark Buckle UP founder Pet Safety Lady Christina Selter and Brandy Schaffels of AskPatty.com awarded Pet Safe Choice Awards to the Top Ten Vehicles, Hotel, Retailer, and Airline. During the presentation, Sheriff Patrick Perez with Marshall the Bomb Sniffing Dog and two dozen other furry friends hopped in and out of cars and stole the show with their animal antics and demonstrations of dog and car travel safety. Marshall entertained attendees with a glorious bark that told everybody he was on the job!
The TOP pet safe Retailer, Hotel, and Airline awards were presented to BassPro Shops, Sheraton Hotels, and Southwest Airlines.
National safety statistics definitely show the number of pets traveling in vehicles is now at an all-time high. As most animals travel unrestrained, the corresponding risk to vehicle occupants, pets, and first responders called to an accident site is of growing concern. For first responders called to render aid, the challenge of securing a frightened or injured animal before treating victims can be of equal concern. It only takes a few minutes to safeguard your pet's safety by buckling them up. Accidents do happen, and you owe it to your beloved pet to protect it against possible injury.
"Most people don't think about it, but in only a 35-mph accident with a 60-pound pet it becomes a 2,700-pound projectile. This will injure the pet, passengers, driver or the pet may escape the vehicle and cause a second accident or become agitated and bite the first responder that is on scene doing their job," stated Selter.
Attendees at the awards announcement observed demonstrations of how to use pet safety harnesses, and everybody received a set of pet oxygen masks to donate to their local fire department; more than 200 oxygen masks were distributed at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show!
2010 Top Ten Pet Safe Vehicles
(click the links to see evaluation videos for each vehicle)
* Chrysler Town and Country
* Dodge Journey
* Ford Edge
* Ford Flex
* Ford Transit Connect
* Kia Soul
* Honda Element
* Smart Car
* Subaru Outback
* Volvo XC60
How the Awards Were Chosen:
The vehicles were evaluated on a variety of pet-related aspects, including how easily the vehicle accommodates animals and kennels of various sizes, ease of access to pet from within the vehicle, ease of pet entry and exit, ventilation for animals in the rear, as well as whether the vehicle has pet-friendly surfaces, adaptability for third party pet travel or safety gear and their ease of cleanup. During testing of the registered vehicles, Bark Buckle UP created video footage of each vehicle along with dogs demonstrating vehicle highlights.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (part of the Starwood family of hotels) helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world. All Sheraton hotels within North America welcome dogs as guests into their hotels, in accordance with local health codes. These hotels will pamper pooches with comfy pet beds and other amenities, such as floor mats, food bowls, ID tags, and more. Guests checking in with a dog receive a "welcome kit" that includes information on nearby areas for exercise and other goodies to help make traveling with your dog more enjoyable. (Some hotels may require an extra per night charge and/or a deposit.) There may be a size/weight limit at some hotels, though dogs exceeding the weight limit and pets other than dogs may be accepted into the hotel at the General Manager's discretion. Pet owners will be responsible for their animal companions and for any excessive damage they may cause, and you will be required to sign a pet waiver upon check in.
Southwest Airlines accepts small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs. All in-cabin pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier, as indicated below and are subject to a $75 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier. The pet carrier counts as the Customer’s carryon bag. Southwest's Web site, Southwest.com, offers a detailed pet policy providing the answers to many common questions regarding the safe transportation of their pets, including information about temperature restrictions, health requirements, and kennel requirements.
Bass Pro Shops has more than 56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 100 million people annually, as well as international catalog and internet retailing. Outdoor World Incentives also sells Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations. Bet you didn't know this, but you can even bring your pets into the Bass Pro Shop while you're shoppng! For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com.
If you are a pet owner, you can find out lots more tips and information about your pet's travel safety at BarkBuckleUp.com. Pet lovers should sign up for their newsletter to be notified of their special events, as well as the latest in Bark Buckle Up recognized pet safety gear! http://barkbuckleup.com/newsletter.asp
President and CEO