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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 01:11 GMT
Santa Fe ponders pet seat belts
Dog in a car wearing a harness
Dogs need to be safe too, campaigners argue
Pet owners in the US city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, may soon be required to provide seat belts for pets if the city council approves new rules.

Under the proposed regulations, animals travelling in the open beds of cars and trucks would have to be tethered.

"Just like people need to be safe, so do animals," Kate Rindy of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter told Reuters.

Ms Rindy said dogs and cats could be fitted with seat belts or travel in portable pet carriers.

Pet shops already stock such devices, Associated Press found - though they say they don't sell many.

Pet products

A "pet safety sitter" (up to $21) has a strap that goes across a dog's chest.

A "pick-up tie-out" attaches to a collar so dogs cannot jump out of the back of a truck.

Also on sale are small booster seats - which allow a dog to see out of the window, while preventing it from jumping around.

The proposals also include rules on pet neutering and leashing dogs and cats when on public property.

The city council will vote on them within the month, Ms Rindy said.

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