In New Jersey, a ticket for failing to wear a seat belt costs $46, but failing to buckle up your pet can land you in jail for up to six months or fines ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Failing to restrain pets in cars is considered animal cruelty. Special pet seats and harnesses can be purchased to attach directly to seat belts.
“It’s much cheaper to invest about $25 in a restraint system than to deal with the consequences of a crash,” said one police official. “If you drive with your dog in your lap, imagine what happens if the airbag deploys,” he added.
John Cichowski, “Road Warrior: Not buckling up your pet in the car can mean big fines,” newjersey.com, May 30, 2012 h/t overlawyered