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#MyGunnerStory: Dog Safety Saves Lives

Words By Will Dunnam | As Told By Gunner

My co-pilot named Coy hasn’t left my side since last Fall. The one-year-old pup just finished his first season in the field – and one that could’ve been his last, if I hadn’t had him in a Gunner kennel.

I’m from Mobile, but I was in Arkansas at the time for a hunt. I was driving back into town with a few buddies after a (snowy) morning well spent in the Arkansas Delta, looking for the local Waffle House. As I rolled through the middle of a busy intersection, my pickup hit a patch of black ice, causing me to lose control of the truck.

I initially T-boned another pickup, in turn causing the back of my vehicle to slam into a nearby power pole. The impact of my truck literally broke the structure in half and caved the back corner of the bed into the Gunner G1™ Large, where Coy was riding.

When I came to, I was really nervous. It was such a big wreck, and it had happened right where my dog was.  The wrecker service had to cut my truck to get the Gunner dog crate out, if that tells you anything (Gunner note: to clarify, the wrecker service cut the fender well on the inside of the truck bed, to release the kennel – which had become wedged between the truck and his YETI® cooler).

My crate took the full force of the power pole, but this Gunner crate sustained only cosmetic damages and a slight dent where the bed caved into the crate. Crazy, because I a can’t say the same about my truck – and the other guy’s – which were both totaled. 

Fortunately none of us in the accident sustained any serious injuries, including Coy – but I honestly do not believe that’d be the case if not for Gunner. And Coy wasn’t even worried about any of it…. we went hunting within 24 hours, and he picked up 46 birds with me the very next day.

 No doubt in my mind that if Coy had been in another plastic kennel it would’ve been bad – and the scary thing is, I had him in one of those cheaper ones recently. Y’all helped save my pup’s life.

Here are some “after photos” of the Gunner Kennel, which I took a few days later. This is the same crate that was in my truck that morning:

I’m kicking myself that I did not take photos at the scene of the wreck with the kennel. But here is a photo from the wrecker service, which shows the back right portion where the truck bed caved into the kennel and was the point of impact when the power pole was snapped in half. 

Gunner note: As the only 5 Star Crash Test Rated pet travel crate, we engineered this crate specifically for your peace of mind in scenarios such as this. Please note that Gunner Kennels, as well as the Center For Pet Safety, recommend using our strength-rated tie-down straps when traveling 100% of the time. To watch Gunner Kennels undergo various crash tests, click here.


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