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Retractable Dog Leashes Reportedly Injure Humans

Maker Says Millions Use Product Safely

Aug 4, 2005 |

The Nebraska Humane Society is warning pet owners about a certain dog leash that can injure people. There are reports of a woman losing part of a finger and a man suffering permanent rope burns.

The injuries were caused by retractable leashes, Omaha television station KETV reported.

"We've had people that have had indented scars because they either automatically or instinctively grab this and try to stop their dog as its rolling," said the humane society's Denise Gurss.

Gurss said the Nebraska Humane Society has stopped using retractable leashes altogether.

"There's no reason, when you are walking down the street, to have your dog 26 feet away from you. He's just walking through somebody's yard or possibly walking into the street," she said.

Since 2001, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 19 reports of injuries associated with retractable leashes. Gurss said if you can't give up your retractable, you should only use it in wide open spaces.

"Away from streets and away from other people and animals where you have the luxury of letting your animals roam without causing injury to anyone else," Gurss said.

Gurss said, on an ordinary walk, your best bet is using a 6-foot leash and to keep your dog within a couple feet.

Flexi, the makers of a variety of retractable dog leashes, said their products have to be used in accordance to their instructions, and that millions of dog owners use their products safely every day.

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