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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-16-2019 07:04 AM
ECIN Fritz - This what I use - real easy and strong , You can get them at like Wal-Mart- Home Depot - places like that .

https://www.lodimetals.com/2-cambuck...yABEgITDPD_BwE
10-15-2019 04:01 PM
Fitzmar Dobermans My guys ride in crates, but I've always needed to take them in and out of an SUV as needed. So, having the super nice heavy duty crates is just not an option for me. I do keep the crate in place with a bungie cord.... but doubt it would help much in a crash.
10-15-2019 02:17 PM
pamlocke Artemis thank you for the thorough breakdown. That was pretty awesome.
10-14-2019 01:33 PM
Artemis I agree! And that's why I outlined the positives of each option because I know not everyone has the car or the budget to accommodate the heavy duty crates! And not everyone also does a lot of highway driving and long distance/high speed driving, or lives in an area with dangerous seasonal driving conditions and so on.
I'm fortunate I've inherited the Toyota Sienna from my family as it definitely gives me all the crating options but I also have a budget and this year couldn't justify dropping 699$ USD on a dog crate, with my worthless Canadian money that's 926$, nothing to sneeze at. And yes I know they offer financing but that's another ball of wax.
10-14-2019 01:11 PM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobe_Mom View Post
One observation regarding the dog seat belt harnesses is to make sure you have the fit correct each time you use it. I bought the sleepypod sport harness and tried it for a while. Kayla is so smart that she learned how to let herself loose like Houdini. She was great while we drove, but once she saw we were parking she would remove herself from the harness. It would happen so fast that I still don't know how she would do it, but the harness would remain fully buckled and attached to the seatbelt.
I shouldn't laugh, but I am...I love your dogs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Personally here is how I rank them and I think there'd be general consensus.

Crash tested -> custom metal/welded -> plastic -> aluminium -> wire -> seatbelt

I really want to get a Gunner Kennel at some point I believe it is the only one that has passed every single kind of test including third party tests. The Ruff Toughs are the second best on the market, and I would consider them to be the best alternative to a Gunner where a Gunner might not be feasible.

Crash tested crates are the best option on the market specifically because they have actually been submitted to crash tests as well as other extreme situations. The Gunner Kennel is the only crate on the market capable of accommodating large dogs that has been rated and certified by the Center for Pet Safety, a registered non-profit. It has been submitted to some extreme testing by Gunner themselves and has also been field and crash tested by others. It's expensive (although not that much considering, and they do offer payment plans). It's actually cheaper than a lot of the custom and welded metal crates. It's the kind of crate that is so solid your dog would still be safe traveling in the bed of a pickup truck with it. They also make their own downties to secure the crate to the car/truck which have also been crash tested (and would be the only ones for crates on the market to have been certified). The main drawback is the sheer weight of the large ones, they are definitely not easy to load and unload regularly out of the car. The size is also a limiting factor, their largest model the G1 Large is just a little under 41 inches in length which means the inside/usable length is much smaller, given so much of the outside length is due to the double layer/shell of it. For comparison Nadia was travelling in a 36 inch ordinary plastic crate until this spring she got upgraded to a 42 inch. Given that she spent time in the crate not just on the road but during training days could be several hours resting in it between her turns and her bathroom break, I wanted something a little roomier - she couldn't quite lay down in a relaxed position with her front paws fully extended. Now with her current size she can comfortably stretch and much more easily move around. I'll have to measure the floor but I bet the Gunner's usable length is smaller and I may have to consider getting a Gunner in addition to my plastic (petmate I think it is) one, not instead of it. Although people are saying their German Pointers and German Shepherds fit in it, I wonder how comfortably they actually do fit. And we don't have to worry about things like a tail to include in length!
The Ruff Tough is not certified by the CPS but is a popular alternative to Gunner due to being cheaper and much more lightweight so easier to use as a normal plastic crate. It is supposed to be escape proof and dog proof, however where I've seen Gunners survive some serious crashes with totalled cars and nary a scratch, I've seen anxious dogs damage Ruff Toughs from the inside. Another advantage over the Gunner is that while the largest Ruff Tough is the same external length as the largest Gunner, there are several more inches of floor length in the Ruff tough than in the Gunner. There aren't any other crash-tested crates (as in, tested by third party researchers or certification centres, not just tests at the manufacturer's own lab) for large dogs, and Gunner is the only one certified by CPS.

Gunner videos: https://pack.gunner.com/videos/
(Take a look at one of the CPS videos, the Gunner Kennel vs a 630lb Sled which also features other types of kennels and the Indestructible Dog Crate testing which includes bullet test).

Ruff Tough video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJUD4tM_U44

Custom Metal/welded ones are popular with people in the working dog world just because they're a lot harder for a dog to break out of (although the Gunner does just as well there) and since they can be custom made for the dimensions of your car, they maximize the efficient use of space. However the downside is they aren't easy to get in and out of the car if you only have one vehicle and need to switch things out to put something in there. Most of them are not crash tested but are solid enough that they'd likely resist most crashes. Depending on the model they also tend to have wider, vertical only bars so they offer more visibility towards the dogs if you have a dog that needs to be consistently checked on.

Plastic crates. These are the airline style varikennel or varikennel inspired models. This is what I currently use both for Nadia and Vanya. Fairly affordable, can come in multiple sizes. I like that they are easy to get in and out of the car as needed, they're lightweight, easy to clean. My grandmother uses a Giant size one for her standard poodle in her own car. They're easy to secure. They likely wouldn't survive a serious crash, but in most cases would manage to keep the dog contained even if the crate is damaged and/or offer a chance of survival to the dog in the even of a crash. For a crate-trained dog who does well in the crate they do the job just fine of containing the dog, although some models have different latches of varying complexity, and the option to add padlocks if you have an anxious dog or escape artist. I find them to be safer than the wire crates or aluminium crates, simply due to the fact that besides the door there is generally no metal, so if the crate does break in a serious crash, bends or tears, there aren't any pieces that the dog could seriously injure themselves on.

Aluminium crates. Usually much more expensive than plastic, and a lot less safe to boost. The Impact Crates are all the rage for example but for anxious dogs and escape artists that chew their crates I have seen some seriously sharp bits of metal sticking out, sometimes a piece that is directly ripped up from inside the crate. The way they'd crush, break, or tear in an accident might leave more hazards to a panicked, trapped dog than a plastic. The impact crates do have a collapsible line I think so useful for storage and bringing them in and out of the car. They're also perfectly flat on top so easy to stack, and useful at a show to double up as a table. And they come in fun colours. Nonetheless I find them very expensive for what they actually are in terms of safety or protection.

Wire crates offer the advantage of visibility (highest of all) if for example you have an anxious dog, or a dog that wants to eat their bedding, or a dog that is prone to getting car sick. They're also generally fairly cheap and they're collapsible. Easy to take in and out of the car and travel with. They will of course contain the dog in most smaller accidents. The main drawback is that in the case of a serious crash or accident, there is a much higher risk of breaking, and like the aluminium crates, sharp metal bits that could injure or kill the dog. So it secures the dog and prevents the dog from turning into a projectile, but doesn't protect the dog as much.

Seatbelts... Seatbelts are not very secure for dogs unfortunately, especially for larger dogs. Tests were conducted not that long ago and there is still a risk of the dog turning into a projectile either from slipping out of the seatbelt, or the seatbelt breaking. There are also increased risks of serious or mortal injuries to dogs from them. It is almost preferable to use a normal harness and secure it to the floor of the car.

Currently there are two brands of harnesses and three models for large dogs that are CPS certified.
ZuGoPet - the Rocketeer Pack
Sleepypod Clickit Sport
Sleepypod Clickit Terrain
CPS website: https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/
(check under CPS certified to see the individual videos for the tested products)

Happy shopping and safe travels!
Thanks for posting all this research - I've done a lot of it and I agree with you. My *preference* would also be the same - the heavy duty kennels. Unfortunately because of the car I drive I can't fit those and still have good vision, and that's risky, so I have to settle for standard wire kennels so I can see through and around them. Not as safe as others, but still much safer, IMO, than harnesses. Since my car is paid off and in great shape I'm not ready to upgrade for a while. When I do, I intend to upgrade the car crates right along with it
10-14-2019 11:59 AM
Cressrb I will never forget a story from my friend in Shelties. She was in a car accident on the freeway on her way home from a dog show. There were six shelties in crates in the back of her SUV. She was hit by another car and was thrown from the vehicle, her car demolished. She was injured badly and unable to move waiting for paramedics. She said all she could think of was her dogs and kept
asking, 'Are my dogs ok, where are my dogs?' She ended up in the hospital, but everyone of her dogs were still in their 'plastic' crates uninjured and safe.
10-14-2019 11:18 AM
Rosemary
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cressrb View Post
I trained my children well. My daughter on her way home saw a 500 vari kennel on the side of the road with the garbage can ready to be picked up. Like a good daughter, she thought of her Mom and parked her car to get the throwaway, brand new, clean kennel. She couldn't fit it into her SUV, so dragged it four blocks to her house and then went back to her car! What a gal.
I swear, over half the crates I have were acquired that way, including a 300 Sky Kennel and a giant Bargain Hound / Kennelaire crate. To this day, I still slow down as a I drove past a trash pile.
10-14-2019 11:11 AM
Cressrb Bug, so true about those old vari-kennels vs today's version. I will not let my old ones go. They are built like a tank.
It is a constant source of irritation to my husband that I save all these crates in our outdoor storage shed. Like, WHY? he asks.

I trained my children well. My daughter on her way home saw a 500 vari kennel on the side of the road with the garbage can ready to be picked up. Like a good daughter, she thought of her Mom and parked her car to get the throwaway, brand new, clean kennel. She couldn't fit it into her SUV, so dragged it four blocks to her house and then went back to her car! What a gal.
10-14-2019 10:45 AM
Dobe_Mom One observation regarding the dog seat belt harnesses is to make sure you have the fit correct each time you use it. I bought the sleepypod sport harness and tried it for a while. Kayla is so smart that she learned how to let herself loose like Houdini. She was great while we drove, but once she saw we were parking she would remove herself from the harness. It would happen so fast that I still don't know how she would do it, but the harness would remain fully buckled and attached to the seatbelt.
10-14-2019 10:34 AM
Meldrew79 Newtie is always crated in the back, we have a Honda Pilot.
10-14-2019 09:42 AM
Artemis
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamlocke View Post
Thank you Rosemary. Just curious if a wire crate vs a plastic crate is better for automobile travel?
Personally here is how I rank them and I think there'd be general consensus.

Crash tested -> custom metal/welded -> plastic -> aluminium -> wire -> seatbelt

I really want to get a Gunner Kennel at some point I believe it is the only one that has passed every single kind of test including third party tests. The Ruff Toughs are the second best on the market, and I would consider them to be the best alternative to a Gunner where a Gunner might not be feasible.

Crash tested crates are the best option on the market specifically because they have actually been submitted to crash tests as well as other extreme situations. The Gunner Kennel is the only crate on the market capable of accommodating large dogs that has been rated and certified by the Center for Pet Safety, a registered non-profit. It has been submitted to some extreme testing by Gunner themselves and has also been field and crash tested by others. It's expensive (although not that much considering, and they do offer payment plans). It's actually cheaper than a lot of the custom and welded metal crates. It's the kind of crate that is so solid your dog would still be safe traveling in the bed of a pickup truck with it. They also make their own downties to secure the crate to the car/truck which have also been crash tested (and would be the only ones for crates on the market to have been certified). The main drawback is the sheer weight of the large ones, they are definitely not easy to load and unload regularly out of the car. The size is also a limiting factor, their largest model the G1 Large is just a little under 41 inches in length which means the inside/usable length is much smaller, given so much of the outside length is due to the double layer/shell of it. For comparison Nadia was travelling in a 36 inch ordinary plastic crate until this spring she got upgraded to a 42 inch. Given that she spent time in the crate not just on the road but during training days could be several hours resting in it between her turns and her bathroom break, I wanted something a little roomier - she couldn't quite lay down in a relaxed position with her front paws fully extended. Now with her current size she can comfortably stretch and much more easily move around. I'll have to measure the floor but I bet the Gunner's usable length is smaller and I may have to consider getting a Gunner in addition to my plastic (petmate I think it is) one, not instead of it. Although people are saying their German Pointers and German Shepherds fit in it, I wonder how comfortably they actually do fit. And we don't have to worry about things like a tail to include in length!
The Ruff Tough is not certified by the CPS but is a popular alternative to Gunner due to being cheaper and much more lightweight so easier to use as a normal plastic crate. It is supposed to be escape proof and dog proof, however where I've seen Gunners survive some serious crashes with totalled cars and nary a scratch, I've seen anxious dogs damage Ruff Toughs from the inside. Another advantage over the Gunner is that while the largest Ruff Tough is the same external length as the largest Gunner, there are several more inches of floor length in the Ruff tough than in the Gunner. There aren't any other crash-tested crates (as in, tested by third party researchers or certification centres, not just tests at the manufacturer's own lab) for large dogs, and Gunner is the only one certified by CPS.

Gunner videos: https://pack.gunner.com/videos/
(Take a look at one of the CPS videos, the Gunner Kennel vs a 630lb Sled which also features other types of kennels and the Indestructible Dog Crate testing which includes bullet test).

Ruff Tough video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJUD4tM_U44

Custom Metal/welded ones are popular with people in the working dog world just because they're a lot harder for a dog to break out of (although the Gunner does just as well there) and since they can be custom made for the dimensions of your car, they maximize the efficient use of space. However the downside is they aren't easy to get in and out of the car if you only have one vehicle and need to switch things out to put something in there. Most of them are not crash tested but are solid enough that they'd likely resist most crashes. Depending on the model they also tend to have wider, vertical only bars so they offer more visibility towards the dogs if you have a dog that needs to be consistently checked on.

Plastic crates. These are the airline style varikennel or varikennel inspired models. This is what I currently use both for Nadia and Vanya. Fairly affordable, can come in multiple sizes. I like that they are easy to get in and out of the car as needed, they're lightweight, easy to clean. My grandmother uses a Giant size one for her standard poodle in her own car. They're easy to secure. They likely wouldn't survive a serious crash, but in most cases would manage to keep the dog contained even if the crate is damaged and/or offer a chance of survival to the dog in the even of a crash. For a crate-trained dog who does well in the crate they do the job just fine of containing the dog, although some models have different latches of varying complexity, and the option to add padlocks if you have an anxious dog or escape artist. I find them to be safer than the wire crates or aluminium crates, simply due to the fact that besides the door there is generally no metal, so if the crate does break in a serious crash, bends or tears, there aren't any pieces that the dog could seriously injure themselves on.

Aluminium crates. Usually much more expensive than plastic, and a lot less safe to boost. The Impact Crates are all the rage for example but for anxious dogs and escape artists that chew their crates I have seen some seriously sharp bits of metal sticking out, sometimes a piece that is directly ripped up from inside the crate. The way they'd crush, break, or tear in an accident might leave more hazards to a panicked, trapped dog than a plastic. The impact crates do have a collapsible line I think so useful for storage and bringing them in and out of the car. They're also perfectly flat on top so easy to stack, and useful at a show to double up as a table. And they come in fun colours. Nonetheless I find them very expensive for what they actually are in terms of safety or protection.

Wire crates offer the advantage of visibility (highest of all) if for example you have an anxious dog, or a dog that wants to eat their bedding, or a dog that is prone to getting car sick. They're also generally fairly cheap and they're collapsible. Easy to take in and out of the car and travel with. They will of course contain the dog in most smaller accidents. The main drawback is that in the case of a serious crash or accident, there is a much higher risk of breaking, and like the aluminium crates, sharp metal bits that could injure or kill the dog. So it secures the dog and prevents the dog from turning into a projectile, but doesn't protect the dog as much.

Seatbelts... Seatbelts are not very secure for dogs unfortunately, especially for larger dogs. Tests were conducted not that long ago and there is still a risk of the dog turning into a projectile either from slipping out of the seatbelt, or the seatbelt breaking. There are also increased risks of serious or mortal injuries to dogs from them. It is almost preferable to use a normal harness and secure it to the floor of the car.
Quote:
What CPS found was alarming. None of the pet harnesses met the minimum safety standards in the pilot study — a failure rate of 100 percent.

According to the CPS website, some of the problems researchers discovered with current pet safety restraints included a low likelihood of survival for the restrained pet, a danger to the driver and other passengers “when the dog becomes a missile,” and the probability of choking when the pet seat belt materials “cinch tightly” during the crash.
Currently there are two brands of harnesses and three models for large dogs that are CPS certified.
ZuGoPet - the Rocketeer Pack
Sleepypod Clickit Sport
Sleepypod Clickit Terrain
CPS website: https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/
(check under CPS certified to see the individual videos for the tested products)

Happy shopping and safe travels!
10-13-2019 11:30 PM
melbrod
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
So I have a question - What did Aunt B mis-spell ? Look good to me
She didn't mis-spell anything. Her computer keyboard just skipped a few letters, so that "following" came out as "flowing"

Rather like the way "vicious" dobes often turn "viscous" in the wrong hands. I always get a kick out of that when I see it.
10-13-2019 10:22 PM
Rosemary
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
My very first crate was a hideously expensive Airbourne tack crate (a Christmas present from my folks.. All aluminum, with a rubber top (like grooming tables have) and a bracket to attach a grooming arm. They were bullet proof and were what Airlines used to require to ship dogs in. I had it for many years until a garage I shared with several people caught fire and burned to the ground taking with it a lot of memories, that tack crate and some trophies that I sure hated to loose.
Those heavy-duty aluminum Airborne and Bob McKee crates are still hideously expensive at fifty+ years old, if you can find someone willing to part with them.

Doskocil originally made wooden airline crates (the only other option to the aluminum crates), but started making fiberglass airline crates in the 1960s. I've got a size 100 Sky Kennel from the late 60s/early 70s that is still in good shape.

There are still companies making aluminum crates today, like Impact, Zwinger, and East Coast Crates, if you feel like shelling upwards of $1000 for a single dog crate. (Maybe after I hit the Lotto?)
10-13-2019 09:08 PM
ECIN So I have a question - What did Aunt B mis-spell ? Look good to me
10-13-2019 07:36 PM
melbrod
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Mel likes to find my type's, grammatical errors and misspellings which sometimes equal Kenny's.

I spotted that one Mel, just too late to edit it. I just wondered if it was going to be you or Lady Di who pointed it out.

Ah well, I'll just do what Kenny does--if one of you guys can figure out what I might have meant it's good enough for me.

Gotta' go stire the chicken tortilla soup...

dpbebug
I'm just snotty that way. But I enjoy a good mis-spelling. It opens up new vistas and avenues of thought for me.

All in good fun? If not, I'll quit.
10-13-2019 07:15 PM
dobebug Thank you Rosemary for the short course in crates and comparable sizing. It sometimes escapes me that not everyone has been buying, looking at and comparing crates as long as I have.

My very first crate was a hideously expensive Airbourne tack crate (a Christmas present from my folks.. All aluminum, with a rubber top (like grooming tables have) and a bracket to attach a grooming arm. They were bullet proof and were what Airlines used to require to ship dogs in. I had it for many years until a garage I shared with several people caught fire and burned to the ground taking with it a lot of memories, that tack crate and some trophies that I sure hated to loose.

The plastic crates that I've listed as not 100 200, 300 etc but thijgs like 3.75 are manufactured by compaies other than VariKennel and are slightly larger than or slightly smaller than more or less equivalent sizes in VariKennels.

My 500 wire crate is a Midwest and is another crate that is heavier gage metal than most wire crates you could buy today but I've had it.for ummm-25 tears, The 400 that is always in the truck (Toyota Tacoma canopy) is almost 30 years old and the 300 (which also always lives in the truck)--it and the 400 just fit at the front end of the canopy and I can get a 500 crossways at the back.

Wire crates are the least protective. but better than harnesses or dogs loose. The plastic crates vary but unless they aren't fastened down most of tem will hold up through some pretty bad accidents.

If you go hunting you can find ratings for various manufacturers crates and there are some plastic ones that are rated as nearly bullet proof.

Good luck you guys--knock on wood in all of the traveling I've done to shows since 1960 I've never had an accident--but I've sure seen some. And my very first dog was in a really bad one and he was riding in a 500 Varikennel--his breeder/co-owner was hospitalized for months, my dog and two other were spilled out of the vehicle (a station wagon as I recall--and none of the thee dogs were badly hurt. Thank heavens a following vehicle was another dog show person and thank heavens was someone who knew my dog--he was able to get him out of the crate and put him in a spare crate in his vehicle and get him back to Seattle to his handlers home. The other two dogs weren't Dobes but were small breeds--they just got transferred in their crates to yet another dog show persons car and taken back to Seattle.

dobebug
10-13-2019 06:31 PM
dobebug
Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Yup, the older you get, the more the years flow by.

I'm still not used to writing 2019 on my checks.
Mel likes to find my type's, grammatical errors and misspellings which sometimes equal Kenny's.

I spotted that one Mel, just too late to edit it. I just wondered if it was going to be you or Lady Di who pointed it out.

Ah well, I'll just do what Kenny does--if one of you guys can figure out what I might have meant it's good enough for me.

Gotta' go stire the chicken tortilla soup...

dpbebug
10-13-2019 06:23 PM
Rosemary I'm of the opinion of "do the best you can". Ideally, every dog would ride in a crash tested crate, but a seatbelt is still better than loose in the car. There is a group on Facebook called Dog Sports Vehicles (that's close, anyway) that has a ton of information about crates.
10-13-2019 06:15 PM
pamlocke Thank you Rosemary. Just curious if a wire crate vs a plastic crate is better for automobile travel?
10-13-2019 11:36 AM
Rosemary
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamlocke View Post
When you guys speak of the 500 series crates for auto travel, are they the wire crates or the plastic?
Technically speaking a 500 crate is an extra large Varikennel. They came in 100 (small), 200 (medium), 300 (intermediate), 400 (large) and 500 (extra large), and 700 (giant). Now, if someone refers to a crate as a "500 size", they generally mean that it has roughly the same dimensions as a size 500 Varikennel (40" x 27" x 30"), no matter if it's wire, plastic, or aluminum.

On the other hand, wire crates are generally called by the length from the front wall to the back wall, like a 36" crate, or a 42" crate.
10-13-2019 11:25 AM
ECIN A BIG thanks Spocksdad ! That's the ticket right there ! And thanks for everybody else too .

As I said - We plan to travel some and was looking for the right crate and just what you Pros use and do !

I don't know if yo all ever noticed - But this is one heck of a place to learn stuff
10-13-2019 10:56 AM
spocksdad Doc, some good advice from dog showing members above.

We use Midwest 36" SUV crates which are 20"w and will fit side-by-side into our Odyssey or Escape with last row seating folded flat. They are 26" Ht.

Midwest 36" SUV Crate
https://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Plast...dp/B000ZLY0KU/


Spock & Eva Crated for 3-hr Drive to Houston Doberfest (in old Odyssey)




I'll admit, we don't always crate the Dobes on short trips (e.g. school visits), but if they are wearing harnesses, can pass shoulder strap through harness top handle to keep them tethered to seats.

Since Spock & Eva are getting older and I'm now using 2006 Escape, which is higher than previous Civic, got a folding car ramp which is now in use. Both Spock and Eva are now experts at using ramp.


Folding Car Ramp for Aging Spock & Eva





Here's where I buy harnesses for Spock & Eva for $45, made in Israel, shipped via USPS, arrive in 9-days to TX. Has top, side & front attachments:

Spock Wearing H17 Multipurpose Harness- ForDogTrainers.com




https://www.fordogtrainers.com/index...oducts_id=4944
10-13-2019 10:00 AM
pamlocke
Crates

When you guys speak of the 500 series crates for auto travel, are they the wire crates or the plastic?
10-13-2019 09:55 AM
falnfenix Regular driving to a place, like my MIL's? Seat belted. If we went to a dog event? Crated in the back seat to keep her contained.
10-13-2019 08:04 AM
Dobe_Mom We just drove from MA to the Nationals in Kansas and back, 4 days each way. Our dog vehicle is a Honda Odyssey with all rear seating removed (both rows). We have airline crates that we use in it and also a variocage. We can fit up to 4 crates in it. The advantage is that the dogs can also be crated in the van during agility classes and trials, provided that the weather is not too hot.
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