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John Bowe goes to the dogs

You could say John Bowe has swapped his V8 Supercar helmet to help promote the need for safe travel with pets.

Just ask him about the very first touring car he drove, the Nissan Skyline which starred with Glenn Seton in sideways action at 250km/h at Bathurst in 1987. It was as unruly as any newborn puppy, but with a much more malicious streak.

And then there was the original Ford Sierra he took on with Dick Johnson. Far too much power for the tyres or the chassis, so definitely not a thoroughbred.

But running through the rascals could take all day, and today we're talking about a different type of dog.

Bowe has just taken on a four-paws project that suits him fine as he drives deeper into what he calls retirement, even if most of us would just say he has swapped his V8 Supercar helmet for something else to race.

He's now tied up with the RSPCA, an organisation also supported by Will Davison and James Courtney, and promoting the need for safe travel with pets. That covers everything from strapping them into cars to the need for proper ventilation to identity tags if they go missing on a getaway drive.

"Every year many hundreds of dogs are needlessly injured simply because they weren't tethered or harnessed properly. It only takes a few extra minutes to do the right thing," Bowe says.

"It's also vital that animals have holiday tags on their collar containing their owner's holiday contact details.It can be very distressing for animals that are stuck at the RSPCA because there is no way of contacting their owners."