It may be, depending who you ask. But according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), no. The agency says you’re just not allowed to have a dog in a car, whether it’s licensed or not.
DOT says you must obey all signs and signals. You’ll also have to keep a dog on a leash at all times. But there are exceptions to those rules.
And it’s an exception that should be noted: Dogs that are in a carrier on the ground are exempt.
“They’re not actually prohibited,” says Dennis Peronetta, the director of training for the DOT, of carriers, which are allowed under certain circumstances. “Most carriers aren’t banned; they’re just not allowed.”
Why would a carrier be in violation?
If the dog isn’t on a leash, it’s deemed to be loose or unrestrained. It can lead people into situations where the law might apply, Peronetta says.
For example, you have a dog walking on a leash; but you’re in a car. The dog may not be secured to the car, which could be dangerous.
Is there a difference between a dog that runs at you and a dog that’s run at people?
Well, no, said Jim Martin, a DVM and DACV instructor with Humane Society International (HSI).
“There isn’t, or almost never is, anything illegal about running at the other dog,” he told WNYT TV.
Still, Martin said it’s not necessary to have a leash on a carrier.
“You can walk on a leash in a car, and you can still have your dog in a carrier,” he said. “It’s a personal choice.”
Can carriers be used if a dog hasn’t been neutered?
Yes. DVM and DACV instructors can tell you that because certain dogs are born with some genes, they might not be able to stay in a carrier.
To prevent that from happening, DVM and DACV instructors will have the carrier removed from the vehicle at the end of the semester for new students.
But how does one know if a carrier is intact or neutered?
Because the owner usually has the carrier to hand. A vet will inspect the animal to see if it’s an intact carrier or neutered.
Can a carrier be left to fend for itself?
DVM and DACV instructors
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