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Sorry, Fido! Proposed bill would force dogs to buckle up in vehicles

AUGUSTA, Maine - Sticking its head out of a moving vehicle is one of the most exhilarating moments of a dog's life.

But a new bill would require dog owners in Maine to restrain their dogs while traveling in a vehicle.

The proposed law would require harnesses or tethers for all dogs, and would outlaw them from riding in the front seat.

Rep. Jim Handy, D-Lewiston, sponsored the bill after a constituent was concerned that dogs could tumble from open windows.

New Jersey has passed a similar law, which fines violators up to $1,000 for unrestrained pets.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends animals be restrained in vehicles, but pet owners in Maine have mixed feelings.

"This is the most absurd thing I've actually heard of," Don Sargent tells WBTS.

However, Dog Sitter Alex Clark likes the idea. "The dog could easily go flying, and if the dog gets distracted by something, what’s going to stop him from jumping out?" Clark said.

A public hearing for the bill is scheduled March 17th.

What do you think? Should dog owners nationwide be required to buckle up their pets?