Many dog lovers and cat fanciers who are so enamored of their pets that they take them with them everywhere they go have been hammering Assemblywoman Grace Spencer for pushing legislation would require pets to be restrained when traveling in cars. Spencer is now firing back.

The Assemblywoman insists she crafted to help protect both motorists and pets, alike. Spencer admits there could be different ways to go about achieving her goal, but at the very least, thinks this is a discussion worth having.

“Unrestrained pets in the car can be more of a distraction than a cell phone, especially if the animal is hopping from seat to seat, trying to sit on your lap, or worse, if they jump down by your feet,” explains Spencer. “It’s in the best interest of motorists and the pets themselves to have them restrained.”

Spencer’s legislation would require the driver of a passenger automobile to secure any non-crated domestic cat or dog that is being transported in a vehicle with an appropriately sized, properly adjusted, and fastened seat belt restraint system. 

Under the bill, a “seat belt restraint system” is defined as a device, including an animal safety harness, modified seat belt, tether, or other similar type of control apparatus, which humanely restricts the movement of a domestic dog or cat and keeps the animal secured and confined to a seat in a passenger automobile or within a passenger automobile’s cargo area during motor vehicle transport.