Pet hero

Southern Cross launches new road safety message on behalf of New Zealand pets

Tuesday , 15 February 2022 by Andrew Drever

New Zealand has long been a nation of pet lovers and, this year, Southern Cross Pet Insurance (Southern Cross) is embarking on a new campaign – Live Your Pet Life - to help keep our furry family members safer and healthier for longer.

The first stage of Live Your Pet Life focuses on improving the safety of pets around roads. In a New Zealand first, special billboards will be going live across New Zealand that can detect and display the speed of the vehicles travelling past (as an average every 10 minutes). The billboards will congratulate drivers on sticking to the speed limit or, if needed, implore drivers to slow down for the sake of animals in the area. The 28 billboard sites (10 of which have dynamic speed tracking capability) are spread across Auckland, as well as in Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Nikita Julie is one pet owner who knows all about the dangers when pets and roads mix.

Her family’s dog, Tytan, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was hit by a car near their Auckland home last year, leaving him with extensive leg injuries that required a significant surgical procedure.

Julie says the driver who hit her dog was distraught by the accident, while she and her family were devastated when they discovered their dog had been so badly injured.

“Tytan’s a member of our family and we wanted to do whatever it took to get him back on his feet,” she said. “He’s had a long recovery process, but thankfully he’s back to his normal self now.”

Julie is supporting Southern Cross’ Live Your Pet Life campaign, as she feels everyone can do more to ensure animals’ safety and wants other families and their pets to avoid experiences like hers and Tytan’s.

With this campaign, Southern Cross is on a mission to ultimately raise the average life expectancy of cats and dogs, as well as highlight the ways in which owners can ensure their pets’ wellbeing.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail says the trauma of pets being injured by vehicles can be experienced anytime, anywhere, right around the country.

“We know how deeply so many Kiwis feel about their cats and dogs, so we want to do all we can to help those pets live their best lives for longer,” he said.

“We want to support drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on their speed. Pet owners can also be playing their part, ensuring their pets are safe when they are around roads.

“Of course, should the worst still happen, and our customers do find themselves in a situation where their pet has been injured by a vehicle, they can be assured we’ll make the insurance claim process as simple as possible so they can concentrate on what’s most important - their pet’s recovery.”

Look out for more pet road safety initiatives in the coming months as part of Southern Cross’ Live Your Pet Life campaign.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance - most expensive car-related claims from 2021

  • A Ragdoll cat had surgery to remove an eye and treat a fractured hind leg. Claim amount paid: $14,588.56.
  • A Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross needed surgery for a fractured front leg and fractured teeth. Claim amount paid: $10,000.
  • A Border Collie Cross was treated for a dislocated hip and knee, and an injured tail and bladder. Claim amount paid: $7,475.
  • A Bengal cat suffered pelvic and tail fractures and needed surgery. Claim amount paid: $5,000.
  • A Golden Retriever Cross needed emergency treatment for multiple wounds and injuries, including a fractured left paw. Claim amount paid: $5,000.