Lort Smith Celebrates National Dog Day with Department of Transport

To celebrate National Dog Day, we teamed up with the Department of Transport to demonstrate how to correctly restrain and protect animals when travelling. We were thrilled to welcome 9News’ Emily Rice to the North Melbourne Hospital and hear the thoughts on pooch safety from our CEO Jen Fleming and Head Veterinarian Dr Andrew Kapsis. Project Coordinator Lee Thomas and Business Transformation Manger Melissa Lee made their news debut, but it was undoubtedly their camera-ready canines who stole the show! You can see the full story here.

Over the last three years, more Victorians than ever have welcomed a dog into their home, so it makes sense that more pooches will be in cars, heading to the shops or away on holiday. It’s important for not only the safety of the dog, but for the safety of the people travelling with them that they are restrained properly. An unrestrained animal can become a projectile, potentially injuring themselves and others in the vehicle.

“We encourage pet owners to buy the specific restraints that plug into the back seat of cars and avoid letting dogs travel with their head out of the window. Too often we see serious injuries in the emergency department as a result of dogs falling from a moving car” says Andrew Kapsis.

While there are no specific road rules regarding securing animals in a vehicle, The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) Act includes several mandatory requirements for traveling with dogs in or on a vehicle. It is illegal to transport a dog if it is not appropriately tethered or caged on back of ute or trailer.

“Unless you’re working with livestock on the farm, don’t put your dog on the back of a ute. If the dog does fall from the vehicle, it can be dragged or strangled” says Dr Andrew.

When it comes to public transport, your pet won’t need to swipe on or off with pets travelling for free on all public transport services. Dogs can travel with you on the train, as long as they’re on a lead and wearing a muzzle.