28 June 2007

Transportation cages for dogs - Rant

Wire transport cages only last so long in a shelter environment, especially when you have boisterous individuals that want to jump and play rough & tumble on them. When they get a quiet moment, they even enjoy a good chew on the aesthetically pleasing plastic coating and then there is the wire that maybe acts as some sort of flossing tool for the left overs of breakfast, stuck in the molars that only a good gnaw will remove.

Today, after a lot of cautious consideration, we decides to purchase some new cages and retire the older ones to sleeping accommodation, which I must say appears to have been a great success amongst the boisterous bunch. Maybe they had a plan all along! ( Remember the film Chicken Run??)

They are always scheming something. Anyway, enough of the paranoia. You would not believe the lengths one has to go to in order to get a reasonably cheap, functional & practical item like a transportation cage. There are lots of pretty colours, shapes & sizes to apparently please the eye but as far as strength, functionality & value for money, these are far and few. I wanted to buy 5 but after visiting no less than 12 different shops, I only managed to acquire 3.

I think it boils down to the folks who design these things. These cages are typically made with small tight openings through which the dog has to enter and then when the dog is inside, the means of securing the miniature door is so inadequate that it needs assistance to stay in place by means of a key ring clip or something similar. Now if a designer were to do some field analysis, they would observe the opening is the most important part, and the whole side of the cage should be removable & the securing mechanism should be attached to the stronger parts of the frame.

To give an example of a current trendy style of cage available, the size is about 1 metre square. The door is on the front and is just 40% of the front area. Further more, artistic interpretation gets in the way because within that small opening, there are 2 intruding curls of frame, as if to provide handles to the occupant to help them get out, like on the internal door pillar of a car.

Oh and did I mention the price? Well, these items cost the equivalent of one sterilisation.

If any reader has spare resources to effectively design, develop, manufacture & delivery, an improved article, the population of Thailand I am sure would be much obliged. Well at least those folks transporting dogs in Thailand.

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