GMC Provides Consumer Tips for On Board Pet Safety

Parents and caregivers pay close attention to a child’s safety while traveling in a vehicle. Our pets need the same on board care. On Friday, at the BarkWorld Expo in Atlanta, GMC partnered with Safe Kids USA, the Atlanta Humane Society and PETCO to provide hands-on pet safety tips and demonstrations on safely securing a pet while traveling along with cautions to avoid leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle.

The GMC Acadia and Terrain are known for their family-friendly safety features that offer customers high-tech tools to help provide a safe and convenient drive for all passengers, including pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association nearly half of all pet owners consider their furry friend to be part of their family, which is why GMC pays attention to pets needs when developing user-friendly features.

“We know that nearly 40 percent of utility buyers are using their vehicles to transport their pets on a weekly basis, and we think that the vehicles in the GMC portfolio offer the tools that our customers need to safely travel with their four-legged friends,” said GMC Marketing Manager Hugh Milne. “For example the GMC Terrain and Acadia are great family and pet-friendly vehicles with safety and technology features including remote power rear lift gate, second row smart slide seating system, bench seats that allow room to secure a crate for your pet and the safety and security of OnStar.” The Atlanta Humane Society says most pet owners fail to properly secure their pets, and they can become “living projectiles” when drivers stop suddenly. An animal can seriously injure or kill a passenger and be hurt or killed itself – even at low speeds. “While there is no one foolproof way to secure a pet to completely escape injury, just about any method is preferable to pets being loose,” said Mailey E. McLaughlin, M.Ed., Atlanta Humane Society Behavior and Training Coordinator. “A properly sized crate or kennel secured behind the back seat in an SUV is generally best, followed by a crate secured behind a different seat, or wedged between non-moving features. A secured or unsecured crate in an open area can shatter and send debris (and the pet inside) flying.”

If crating is not feasible, McLaughlin recommends securing a pet with a sturdy safety travel harness with metal buckles (or no buckles) with wide, padded straps that run across the shoulders and chest, not around the neck. Just as important as proper securing of pets is knowing when they should not be in a vehicle. According to Safe Kids USA, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can become dangerously hot in just minutes – even when temperatures outside are mild. A child or pet’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adults and can result in heatstroke or death. Through mid-August, at least 35 children in the United States had died from hyperthermia in 2010 from being left unattended or playing in a vehicle and being overcome by heat. “Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle – not even for a minute,” said Wes Bender of Safe Kids USA. “This can result in life-threatening temperatures inside the vehicle, even with the windows slightly open. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can become dangerously hot in just minutes, even when temperatures outside are mild.” For pets, Safe Kids recommends taking your pet with you when you exit the car or leave it at home where it will be spared the heat. Safety travel pet harnesses and crates used during the demonstration were donated by PETCO. The Terrain offers a best-in-segment EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon, and to meet customer demand production has been increased three times since it went on sale in late 2009.

About GMC GMC has built trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry’s healthiest brands. Today GMC is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. The new GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market. Innovation and engineering excellence are woven into all GMCs, including the Yukon and Yukon XL and full line of Sierra pickups. Today GMC is the only manufacturer offering three full-size hybrid trucks. Details on all GMC models are available at, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at About Atlanta Humane Society Founded in 1873, the Atlanta Humane Society and Society For Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, Inc. is the oldest private non-profit animal welfare organization in Atlanta and one of the oldest humane agencies in America. Services such as Canine Play Yard, spay/neuter, adoptions, a regional food bank program, pet facilitated therapy, animal behavior hot-line and our charitable veterinary clinic are made possible by generous contributions of time and money from the public.

About Safe Kids USA Safe Kids USA is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations with the mission of preventing unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. More than 600 coalitions in the United States and nineteen member countries worldwide bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. In partnership with General Motors since 1997, Safe Kids Buckle Up, the child passenger safety program of Safe Kids USA, has inspected 1.25 million car seats; held approximately 64,000 car seat checkup events around the country; donated more than 444,000 car seats to families in need and educated more than 21 million parents and caregivers.

About PETCO PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. We operate more than 1,000 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $63 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support approximately 6,500 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.