Crash tests use dummy dogs
LOS ANGELES — To make the world safer for pets, Lindsey Wolko had to design an indestructible dog.
Two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, her nonprofit Center for Pet Safety in Reston, Va., has a set of crash-test dog dummies that were battered, throttled and sent flying to test several car safety restraints.
The rare study of travel products marketed to animal owners was released earlier this month and will be followed by tests of car crates, carriers and barriers.
Wolko officially opened the safety center in July 2011, met with engineers and started building a boxer dummy.
The 55-pound boxer is stuffed with computer equipment and has the same center of gravity as the real animal. The model was used in the pilot project reviewing four products.
MGA Resource Corp., an independent lab in Manassas, Va., conducted all the crash tests using Wolko’s dog dummies. The Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness was the only one out of seven that protected all the dummies in 30 mph crashes.
The rest had problems, she said.