April 13, 2019
By Paweenudh Suanpan, Founder and Director of Piper’s Walk LLC
Dogs are amazing creatures who inspire humans by just being themselves. Piper inspired me to start Piper’s Walk to provide education to pet owners about seatbelt safety for dogs, and Gunner led Addison Edmonds to build Gunner Kennels, which is now a Center for Pet Safety crash tested certified product with a five star rating.
One day in college, Addison was traveling with Gunner (they spent a lot of time in the Mississippi Delta chasing ducks) when he took a sharp turn, looked in the mirror and saw that Gunner’s plastic crate had tipped over. Isn’t the crate supposed to protect the dog when traveling? With the incident still in mind, as he watched Gunner work in the field, Addison realized that he wanted to build the world’s best kennel, one worthy of his dog Gunner. Watch their story here: https://www.gunnerkennels.com/our-story.
Gunner Kennels happened because of an idea, a passion, and trial and error. Addison did not have an engineering or manufacturing background, but did work with multiple engineers for a year and a half to complete the initial G1 kennel design. It went through a lot of tweaks. Addison did a plethora of research and collaborated with many people in order to put the project in motion.
The original design actually had a wire door, but during the first crash test, the crash test dummy dog flew right through the door. After a complete redesign, the current door is one of the key components to Gunner Kennels’ 5 star crash test rating. It is a “nylon door that is custom welded, power coated and reinforced with an aluminum frame with a stainless-steel Piano Hinge and two backup locking safety latches” (I’m not sure exactly what that all means, but it sounds really strong)! Addison worked hard to ensure that this is an American-made product; the kennel has 126 components, only nine of which are not made in America.
Addison also conducted strength tests in addition to the crash test. He applied 4,000 pounds of force to the kennel through a vice machine and the kennel actually broke the machine. It has been dropped off a 200 foot cliff on a 630 pound sled, the door was run over with a Chevy Silverado, and it was shot at with a 12 gauge, yielding no bullet penetration. See it in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOgWty7Yivc&t=24s.
Bottom line is that Gunner Kennels is a high quality product. Addison told Piper’s Walk:
“We decided early on to do things the right way – we weren’t going to cut corners on quality of materials or processes, even if it did hurt our bottom line. I set out to build the best and strongest kennel on the market and if I wasn’t going to deliver on that, then I might as well not do it at all.”
Not only did Addison create an indestructible kennel, but he also included a tie down strap kit. The original one broke in the initial crash testing, so he redesigned those as well. The Center for Pet Safety has certified these straps.
Gunner Kennels has been around since 2015, and has saved many lives since then. Dozens of customers have reached out to share their stories. Unfortunately accidents happen, but according to testimonials, many dogs who travel in a Gunner Kennel leave the incident unharmed. Take the time to read these incredible stories here: www.gunnerkennels.com/testimonials.
Since Gunner Kennels has such a heavy-duty construction, it is bulky and depending on the size needed, it may not fit in your car. So...if you have a big dog, you might need to trade in your car for an SUV! Stay tuned for new non-kennel products from Gunner. They are working on “new releases centered around safety and well being of the dog.”
Piper’s Walk thanks Addison and Gunner for creating such a fantastic product that performs as advertised, and puts the safety of our canine companions first beyond all else. The dog community needs this type of dedication and honesty in the industry, especially when there are so many products out there that do not work. If you are a dog owner and need a kennel for traveling, please visit www.gunnerkennels.com and check out this Center for Pet Safety, five star rated, certified product!