CALEDONIA, MICHIGAN. — A Caledonia family has a warning for all pet owners after two of their cats were actually crushed under their garage door and killed.
It sounds strange, but it has been very traumatic for the family, which is sharing the story in an effort to prevent another family from dealing with a similar loss. The concern is real and some simple changes could protect your pets.
“You don’t think about it. You push a button and you don’t expect that pushing a button is going to kill your cat,” Carol Postma said.
When it happened to their cat Angel a few years ago, Postma thought it was some kind of fluke.
“Just a bad thing that happened and we didn’t expect it would happen again,” she said.
And last week it did, killing a cat named Piper, one of two kitties recently rescued.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Postma said. “And then to have to make a call to my daughter who is away at college and these are her kitties.”
The Postmas thought the problem was the height of the sensors on the garage door that signal it to stop if something runs underneath while the door is in the process of closing.
An expert said that sensors set at 8 inches or lower are safe. In the Postmas’ case, Keith Keen with Overhead Door thinks the sensitivity was set a bit too high, so the door didn’t pop up when it hit the cats.
“Which happens a lot because people want the door to push tight to the ground and they crank that sensitivity up,” said Keen.
On older machines. there is a dial on the motor which adjusts the sensitivity. On newer models, it’s electronic, so you will surely have to call a professional to change it.
Keen said to put down a two-by-four and move your feet or hands past the door to check the sensors yourself.
“They always say check it monthly, at least an annual inspection,” Keen advised.
Electronics don’t always work, so if you know your pets are out, the best advice is to watch the door close with your own eyes.