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2009 GMC Acadia is a Pet Safe Choice Award Winner

Posted February 24 2009


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The very attributes that make the GMC Acadia crossover one of the most comfortable and safest vehicles for people have been recognized by leading pet safety advocate Bark Buckle UP, which recently gave Acadia its Pet Safe Choice Award for 2009.


The GMC Acadia prevailed over two dozen other entries vying for the award. Acadia features GM’s OnStar safety and security technology that includes emergency services and hands-free navigation; standard third-row bench seating for restraining pets and ample room behind the seats for pet crates; tinted windows, tri-zone climate controls and a large, power-operated sunshade for comfort; and top federal and insurance industry scores for crashworthiness.

In addition, Acadia enjoys best-in-class fuel economy for owners who take their pets along for the ride, with an EPA-estimated 24 mpg highway for front-wheel-drive models.

Sixty-three percent (or 71.1 million households) own a pet, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, and devoted owners spent more than $43 billion on pet products and services in 2008.

“Many of our customers treat their pets like members of the family, and Acadia provides the pet-friendly safety and comfort features they are looking for,” said Cheryl Catton, executive director of advertising and promotion for Buick, Pontiac & GMC. Catton accepted the Bark Buckle UP award at the recent Chicago Auto Show, where dogs from the American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. program and the Kane County Sheriff’s Office helped demonstrate the importance of restraining pets in vehicles.

“Not only does the Acadia provide first-class transport for our customers’ pets, it is filled with safety and security features that enhance pet safety – including technology such as OnStar, which can direct owners to the nearest veterinary clinic in the event of an on-road emergency,” said Catton. “In addition, GM has been a leader in urging that pets be restrained in vehicles and not be left unattended in parked vehicles.”

“With so many pet owners traveling with their pets today, safety is key – not just for pets, but for humans who travel with them – to making a conscientious purchase,” according to Christina Selter, a pet safety expert and founder of Bark Buckle UP. “We believe the GMC Acadia has earned high marks in this area for its outstanding leadership in car design and function.”

Selter said more pets are on the move than ever, with an estimated 300-percent jump in car travel from 2005. Unfortunately, statistics from the Traffic Safety Evaluation Guide show that 98 percent of pets ride unstrained, she said.

The laws of physics mean that in a 35-mph crash, a 60-pound pet can cause an impact equivalent to 2,700 pounds, injuring itself and human occupants in the vehicle. In addition, an injured pet that is unrestrained can escape from a wrecked car, biting first responders or causing another collision.

For more information on the GMC Acadia, visit To learn more about other Bark Buckle UP 2009 winners, visit






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