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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PET GUIDE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/067987
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A pet guide has a hinged platform mounted below a pet door opening in a wall. The platform has a horizontal deployed position and a vertical closed position. When the platform is in the vertical position, it covers the pet door. The platform may be secured to the wall so that it can be locked from the inside of the wall, or the outside of the wall.

Inventors:
SIMMONS, William, A. (Windsor, CT, US)
Application Number:
US2020/070580
Publication Date:
April 08, 2021
Filing Date:
September 25, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SIMMONS, William, A. (Windsor, CT, US)
International Classes:
A01K1/02; A01K1/03; A01K1/035; E05C19/10; E05C19/08; E05F1/12; E06B7/32
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NOWOTARSKI, Mark (Patents & Alliances LLC30 Old Kings Highway Sout, Darien CT, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The Claims:

1 claim:

1. A pet guide comprising: a) a platform member comprising: i) a first edge; ii) a second edge at a platform length opposite of said first edge; and iii) a locking bar hole located at about said second edge of said platform member, said locking bar hole passing through said platform member; b) a support member comprising a top edge and a back face; c) a pivot member joining said first edge of said platform member to said top edge of said support member such that said platform member can alternate between a generally horizontal position and a generally vertical position when said support member is attached to a vertical wall; and d) a locking bar plate member adapted to be attached to said vertical wall at a height above said top edge of said support member of about said length of said platform member wherein: e) a distal end of said locking bar plate member comprises a latch member; and f) said locking bar plate member has a forward extension greater than a thickness of said platform member such that said latch member will pass through said platform member when said platform member is rotated into said generally vertical position and said locking bar plate member passes through said locking bar hole.

2. The pet guide of claim 1 wherein said latch member comprises a hole that is accessible when said platform member is in said generally vertical position and said latch member has proceeded through said platform member such that a shackle may be passed therethrough thus securing said platform member in said generally vertical position.

3. The pet guide of claim 1 which further comprises one or more of: a) a front stiffening member located at about said second edge of said platform member and depending therefrom; b) a rear stiffening member located at about said first edge of said platform member and depending therefrom; c) a stiffening member located at about a side edge of said platform member and depending therefrom; or d) a stiffening member located at a lateral position from said side edge of said platform member and depending therefrom.

4. The pet guide of claim 3 wherein said platform member and said one or more stiffening members are a unitary piece.

5. The pet guide of claim 4 wherein a material of construction of said unitary piece is a plastic and said unitary piece is formed at least in part by injection molding.

6. The pet guide of claim 1 wherein said generally horizontal position of said platform member has a downward slope from said first edge of platform member to said second edge of said platform member.

7. The pet guide of claim 1 which further comprises a pet door wherein said platform member is dimensioned to cover said pet door when: a) said pet door is mounted in said vertical wall at a position between said top edge of said support member and said stationary locking bar plate member; and b) said platform member is in said generally vertical position.

8. The pet guide of claim 7 wherein said pet door comprises an outdoor frame and wherein: a) said pivot member is spaced at a hinge depth from said back face of said support member; and b) said hinge depth is about the same as a thickness of said outdoor frame such that said platform member will lay flat against said outdoor frame when said platform member is in said generally vertical position.

9. A pet guide comprising: a) a platform member comprising: i) a first edge; and ii) a second edge at a platform length opposite of said first edge; and b) a support member comprising a top edge and a back face; c) a pivot member joining said first edge of said platform member to said top edge of said support member such that said platform member can alternate between a generally horizontal position and a generally vertical position when said support member is attached to a vertical wall; d) a swing bar locking rod member pivotably attached to said platform at about said second edge, said swing bar locking rod member comprising a latch member at a top end thereof; e) an outdoor locking rod guide plate comprising a face and an opening in said face; and f) an indoor locking rod guide plate comprising a face and an opening in said face wherein: g) said outdoor locking rod guide plate is adapted to be attached to an outdoor side of a vertical wall at a height above said top edge of said support member that is about equal to said platform length; h) said indoor locking rod guide plate is adapted to be attached to an indoor side of said vertical wall opposite of said outdoor locking rod guide plate; i) said swing bar locking rod member has a stored position underneath said platform member; and j) said swing bar locking rod member has a deployed position above said platform member such that: i) a base of said swing bar locking rod member has a distance from said pivot member of about said platform member length; ii) said swing bar locking rod member has a deployed angle with respect to said platform member of less than 90 degrees such that a distance from said top end of said swing bar locking rod member to said pivot member is about equal to said platform member length.

10. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein a height of said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate is larger than a width of said swing bar locking rod member such that said swing bar locking rod member can pass through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide member at an acute angle when said platform member is rotated upwards to said generally vertical position.

11. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein said outdoor locking rod guide plate has an open top extending rearward from said face of said locking rod guide plate such that said swing bar locking rod member may extend above said open top of said outdoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

12. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein said outdoor locking rod guide plate comprises shape features that are inwardly angled to guide said swing bar locking rod member into alignment with said opening in said face of said indoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

13. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein said outdoor locking rod guide plate comprises a inner bottom face that is upwardly angled to guide said swing bar locking rod member into alignment with said opening in said face of said indoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

14. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein a snap grip is positioned underneath said platform member to hold said swing bar locking rod member in said stored position.

15. The pet guide of claim 9 which further comprises a front stiffening member depending from said second edge of said platform member and wherein said front stiffening member and said second edge together comprise an opening to allow said swing bar locking rod member to pass therethrough between said deployed position and said stored position.

16. The pet guide of claim 9 wherein said swing bar locking rod member has a vertical extension above said platform member in the range of 50 mm to 200 mm.

Description:
Title of Invention:

Pet Guide

Technical Field:

[0001] Independent and safe passage of pets to the outdoors is a benefit to pets and pet owners. The present invention relates to an apparatus that is intended to improve and increase independent mobility and safe passage of household pets to the outdoors through pet door openings provided through elements of a building envelope, such as walls, doors, or windows. Pet doors are often installed in homes or buildings without the benefit of this invention. From the point of view of a household pet, the invention provides the functionality of a porch or fire escape, dedicated to use by the pet or pets. From the point of view of the pet owner, the invention increases the number of locations on a building envelope where the pet owner can place the pet door opening. The invention comprises a platform member and support member wherein the support member is attached to the building envelope adjacent to a pet door opening. The platform member is joined to the support member rigidly or with hinged joint along their shared edge. Said platform member may additionally include a combination of barrier members, wherein the barrier members are attached along an edge or edges of the platform member, to steer the pet in a preferable direction of transit. The invention includes hinge and latching features to permit folding and securing of said platform, and barrier members where employed.

[0002] Because a range of household pets such as dogs and cats, have differing body sizes, and differing mobility characteristics, the invention is presented in several configurations. The buildings to which the apparatus might be attached, and the outdoor conditions, also may have a variety of characteristics; the invention is presented in several configurations for application to a range of building and ground situations. The combinations of invention features, meeting the needs of various pets and buildings, are sometimes referred to in this specification as embodiments of the invention. Background Art:

[0003] In homes or buildings that house household pets, such as cats and dogs, it is often desirable to place a pet door opening through the building envelope to the outdoors in order to provide independent exit and entrance access by pets to the outside of the home or building. There are cases when a pet may not be tall enough to reach a desired pet opening. In such instances, the pet may benefit from an intermediate stepping platform. Safety considerations exist where the pet opening might be installed through a wall, door or window that leads to a vertical hazard, such as an outdoor ground configuration in which elevation difference constitutes a precipice. There is a safety need for the pet when a steep or otherwise geometrically un-navigable drop-off or direct-forward hazard exists. In addition to safety considerations, there may also be situations where groundwork such as gardens, play areas or human walkways are present in the leftward or rightward direction relative to the direction of pet travel, making re-direction of pet travel desirable or necessary to avoid nuisance in the sideward direction. Pet comfort and pet owner convenience are also need generating aspects. Therefore, the need and opportunity for a pet guide device exists for reasons of pet mobility improvement, pet safety, to avoid nuisance or simply for owner convenience.

Summary of Invention:

[0004] The summary of the invention is a guide to understanding the invention. It does not necessarily describe the most generic embodiment.

[0005] When a dog or cat travels in or out through a pet door installed through the envelope of the building structure, the pet will often benefit from and generally or at least subtly need to support and position itself in a safe and balanced manner as it aligns for passage through the pet door. To support the animal’s weight, a platform is needed. To guide the animal in a preferred path of travel, or for safety, a barrier can be employed. This invention provides a platform member and may also employ at least one barrier member which serve in concert together to support, guide and direct the inward and outward travelling pets. [0006] In their outward travel through a pet door opening, the inertial momentum of the pet will carry them in their ongoing forward direction of motion. To mitigate this situation, the pet guide may provide at least one primary barrier member which is placed directly opposite from the pet door opening. Additionally, to protect and guide a pet in cases where sideward travel would expose the petto hazard or nuisance, a sideward barrier member can be included as part of the apparatus. A side barrier member may be present on either the left or right side of the invention apparatus. It shall be heretofore implicit in any interpretation of this invention that a side barrier member can be placed on either side of the apparatus. Furthermore, it is later described that barrier members can be positioned at various angles relative to the platform member, primarily to accommodate different size pets.

[0007] When a precipice or sideward hazard or nuisance exists at the outdoor side of the building envelope where a pet door may be present, the pet guide platform invention installed adjacent to the pet door opening provides and offers the outward travelling pet a half-step upon which to poise, rest or subtly position itself before the pet continues along through the pet door opening. During inward travel through a typical pet door, the pet may need to leap upward to reach a door opening which is higher than ground level. In this case, the platform member of the invention provides a half-step upon which the pet may poise, rest or subtly position itself as it proceeds into the building. During a pet’s travel in and out of the building and onto the elevated platform member, the barrier member or members serve to catch, funnel, and otherwise guide the motion of the pet. When climbing or leaping onto the platform from the outside ground, the barrier member or members serve the crucial purpose of catching the pet, or otherwise preventing the animal from leaping completely over, or falling off of the platform.

[0008] A variation of the invention is also disclosed in this specification, by which the platform member may be sloped or slanted towards the ground presenting the platform member in a slightly downward angle relative to the ground and the building envelope, so as to form a partial ramp leading to the pet door. This ramp-like configuration may be a benefit to smaller pets, breeds of dog such as Corgi or Dachshund, that may or may not be able to climb onto or safely negotiate a leap adequately, or for less able-bodied or elderly pets. Normally, with the exception of the aforementioned breeds or elderly animal, a typical able-bodied dog or cat ought to be expected to be capable to leap onto a platform that is shoulder level of the pet above the outside ground, or even higher.

[0009] A pet guide apparatus is disclosed which re-directs the forward directional travel motion of a household pet as it moves through a pet door opening leading to the outdoors. The apparatus is for application in cases where direct forward movement of the pet will lead the pet into hazard or nuisance. The invention may be equipped with a combination of integral features to accommodate a variety of pet body types and outdoor ground configurations. Adaptations of the invention which result in configurations suited to different pet body types and outdoor ground configurations are herein referred to as embodiments of the invention. Some embodiments of the invention are foldable, which allows the pet caregiver or owner to collapse the apparatus when necessary. A more complete discussion of the features of the invention, with references to the illustrations is presented later, in the detailed description section.

[0010] The pet guide apparatus may comprise: (i) a platform member having opposite first, second and side edges; (ii) a support member that is connected about the first edge of the platform member in a fixed or pivoting manner; (iii) A primary barrier member that is attached to the second edge of the platform member in a fixed or pivoting manner; (iv) a side barrier member that is connected about either side edge of the platform member in a fixed or pivoting manner; (v) flanged structure reinforcement member(s) which increase strength of the points where the support member is anchored to the building envelope. Some embodiments of the invention are foldable, which allows the pet caregiver or owner to collapse the apparatus when necessary. Foldable embodiments include integral (vi) locking features, and (vii) barrier latching features. The features of the invention [i] through [vii] are illustrated in the FIGS. 1 through 32 of the invention, and subsequently disclosed more fully in the detailed description.

[0011] A function of the platform member is to provide a perch upon which the pet can poise, rest, step, or subtly re-position while passing through the pet door opening in either direction. A function of the barrier member, also called the primary barrier member, is to re-direct the path of movement of the pet away from a forward directional movement that leads the pet in a direction of travel that leads to hazard or nuisance. A purpose of the side barrier member, also called the secondary barrier member, is to direct the pet away from a sideward directional movement of the pet in a direction of travel that leads to hazard or nuisance. The side barrier member may be on either the left or right side of the platform member, relative to the direction of pet travel. A purpose of the support member is to facilitate the securement of the pet step guide apparatus to the wall of the building, adjacent to the pet door opening, while securely maintaining the apparatus in place. The platform member, barrier members, and support member may be of an integral construction, or separate. In foldable embodiments of the invention, the platform, support and barrier members may be joined in a pivot, or hinge-like assembly which may include longitudinal pins.

[0012] To accommodate the mobility needs of different size and body types of pets, mostly dogs and cats, it may be necessary to configure the invention so that the platform, support and barrier members to have a geometric form and position which satisfy the size and mobility requirements of a variety of pets. Various adaptations in the configuration of the elemental members of the invention are presented, which may address and serve a range of sizes and physical abilities of pets. The different features of the invention may be embodied in groups to comprise integral and serviceable apparatus. The resulting configurations are referred to herein as embodiments. Some embodiments of the invention are foldable. Several latching, and lockable security elements are presented with the foldable embodiments. The combinations of features of the invention as they apply to the needs of different pet and animal types, and buildings and grounds situation, are presented more rigorously in the detailed description of the invention.

The features of the invention are presented in nine exemplary embodiments. Any number of features may be combined in any order to provide any number of additional exemplary embodiments.

Brief Description of Drawings:

[0013] FIG. 1 is an isometric perspective view of a pet guide apparatus showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening.

[0014] FIG. 2 is an isometric perspective view of a foldable pet guide apparatus showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening, wherein the platform member is foldable relative to the support member and building wall, and has lock and latching features that are secured from outside the building. [0015] FIG. 3 is an isolated isometric perspective view of the foldable apparatus illustrated in FIG 2.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0017] FIG. 5 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a foldable pet guide apparatus, wherein the platform member is foldable relative to the support member and the building envelope and has lock and latching features that are secured from outside of the building.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 5.

[0019] FIGS. 7A through 7D are a series of isometric perspective views of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 5 showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening, in several positions relative to the building envelope. The latching features in illustrated in FIG.7 secure from inside of the building envelope.

[0020] FIG. 8 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a rigid pet guide apparatus with a substantially vertical barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member.

[0021] FIG. 9 is an isometric perspective view of the apparatus presented in FIG. 8, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall, with a pet door opening.

[0022] FIG. 10 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a rigid pet guide apparatus with a substantially vertical barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member, wherein a second, substantially vertical, barrier member is located along a side edge of the platform member.

[0023] FIG. 11 is an isometric perspective view of the apparatus presented in FIG. 10, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall, with a pet door opening.

[0024] FIG. 12 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a rigid pet guide apparatus with an angled barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member. [0025] FIG. 13 is an isometric perspective view of the apparatus presented in FIG. 12, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall, with a pet door opening.

[0026] FIG. 14 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a pet guide apparatus with a barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member, and an additional barrier member located along a side edge of the platform member, wherein both barrier members are substantially non-vertical, allowing for improved pet movement on the platform

[0027] FIG. 15 is an isometric perspective view of the apparatus presented in FIG. 14, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall, with a pet door opening.

[0028] FIG. 16 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a pet guide apparatus with a substantially vertical barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member, wherein the platform member and barrier member are foldable. FIG. 9 also shows an integral security lock mechanism which secures from outside the building envelope.

[0029] FIG. 17 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 16.

[0030] FIGS. 18A through 18D are a series of isometric perspective views of the foldable pet guide apparatus presented in FIG. 16, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening, in several positions relative to the building envelope. The latching features in illustrated in FIG. 18 secure from outside the building envelope. The apparatus is shown in the fully deployed and fully folded states, as well as two partly deployed states.

[0031] FIG. 19 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a foldable pet guide apparatus with a substantially vertical barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member, and an additional, substantially vertical, barrier member located along a side edge of the platform member, wherein the platform member and both barrier members are foldable. FIG. 19 also introduces an integral security lock mechanism which has indoor access. [0032] FIG. 19A provides a detail view of an integral rotary latch feature that holds the barrier member in position relative to the platform member.

[0033] FIG. 20 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 19.

[0034] FIGS. 21A through 21D are a series of isometric perspective views of the foldable pet guide apparatus presented in FIG. 19, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening, in several positions relative to the building envelope. The latching features in illustrated in FIG. 21 secure from outside the building envelope. The apparatus is shown in the fully deployed and fully folded states, as well as two partly deployed states.

[0035] FIG. 22 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a foldable pet guide with an angled barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member wherein the platform member and barrier member are foldable. The foldable pet guide shown in FIG. 22 has an integral security lock mechanism which has outdoor access.

[0036] FIG. 22A shows barrier angle.

[0037] FIG. 22B & FIG. 22C provide detail views of a snap-latch mechanism that works in combination with a slot in the barrier member to hold the barrier member in position at the aforementioned barrier angle.

[0038] FIG. 23 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 15.

[0039] FIGS. 24A to 24D are isometric perspective views of the apparatus presented in FIG.22, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall. The apparatus is shown in the fully deployed and fully folded states, as well as two partly deployed states.

[0040] FIG. 25 is an isolated isometric perspective view of a pet guide apparatus with a barrier member located along the second edge of the platform member, and an additional barrier member located along a side edge of the platform member, wherein both barrier members are substantially non-vertical, and the platform member and both barrier members are foldable. Also visible are snap-latch barrier securement features which hold barrier members in position relative to platform member. FIG. 25 includes elements of integral swing-bar security lock mechanism which has indoor access.

[0041] FIG. 25A shows a side view of the pet guide apparatus of FIG. 25.

[0042] FIG. 26 is a fully exploded isometric perspective view of the foldable pet guide apparatus illustrated in FIG. 25.

[0043] FIGS. 27A through 27D are a series of isometric perspective views of the foldable pet guide apparatus presented in FIG. 25, showing its attachment to the outside surface of a building wall with a pet door opening, in several positions relative to the building envelope. The swing-bar latching features illustrated in FIG. 27 secure from outside the building envelope. The apparatus is shown in the fully deployed and fully folded states, as well as two partly deployed states.

[0044] FIG. 28A is a detail isometric view of the stationary elements of the aforementioned swing-bar locking mechanism. The elements shown in FIG. 28A have shape features that facilitate entry of the swing-bar locking rod shown in FIG. 28B.

[0045] FIG. 28B is an isometric view of the swing-bar locking rod elements attached to the platform member as shown in FIG. 6.

[0046] FIG. 29A is a detail isometric view of the outdoor securement features shown in FIGS. 2 through 5.

[0047] FIG. 29B is a detail isometric view of the exterior portion of the security lock mechanism that is shown in FIG. 16 as well as in FIG. 18D.

[0048] FIG. 29C is a detail isometric view including the member shown in FIG. 29A when the platform member is fully folded.

[0049] FIGS. 30 and 30B are detail isometric views of the elements included in folding pet guide of FIG. 16. FIGS. 30 & 30B show an integral rotary latch mechanism for the securement of foldable barrier members while in their erect state.

[0050] FIG. 30A is a detail isometric view of a side barrier latch pin that retains a side barrier member in the erect state.

[0051] FIG. 31A is a top view of the outdoor portion of the swing-bar locking rod mechanism introduced in FIGS. 5 through 7. [0052] FIG. 31B is a side view of the same element of FIG. 31A.

[0053] FIG. 31C is a front view of the element of FIG. 31A with the observer facing the outside wall of the building.

[0054] FIG. 3 ID provides an illustration of the indoor portion of the locking rod mechanism that is attached to the inside wall of the building, in opposite to and in alignment with the outdoor portion. FIGS. 31A, B, & C include illustration of shape features that guide the locking rod into position for engagement with the indoor member shown in FIG. 31D.

[0055] FIGS. 32A to 32C include detail views of an integral swing snap latch mechanism for the securement of foldable barrier members while in their erect state.

[0056] Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent by viewing the drawings and reading the detailed description, which follows the brief description of the drawings.

List of Reference Numerals:

The following is a list of reference numerals and associated parts as used in these specification and drawings. Like reference numbers in the drawings refer to like parts unless indicated otherwise.

ITEM DESCRIPTION

100 pet guide with one angled barrier member

101 platform member

102 top face of platform member

103 1st edge of platform member

104 support member

105 2nd edge of platform member

106 barrier member

107 side edge of platform member

109 platform angle

110 barrier angle

112 platform stiffening member 114 inner face of barrier member 115 outer face of barrier member 118 fastener to building 119 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 170 pet passage hole 172 top edge of pet passage hole 174 pet door 176 outdoor frame of pet door 178 indoor frame of pet door 190 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 191 building wall adjacent 192 building foundation 193 outside surface of building wall 194 building anchored sill plate 195 building perimeter joist 196 building floor 197 building wall sole plate 198 building wall stud 199 inside surface of building wall 200 pet guide with two barrier members 201 platform member 202 top face of platform member 203 1st edge of platform member 204 support member 205 2nd edge of platform member 206 barrier member 207 side edge of platform member 208 side barrier member 209 platform angle 210 barrier angle 212 platform stiffening member 213 side barrier angle 214 inner face of barrier member 215 outer face of barrier member 216 inner face of side barrier member 217 outer face of side barrier member 218 fastener to building 219 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 270 pet passage hole 272 top edge of pet passage hole 274 pet door 276 outdoor frame of pet door 278 indoor frame of pet door 290 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 291 building wall adjacent 292 building foundation 293 outside surface of building wall 294 building anchored sill plate 295 building perimeter joist 296 building floor 297 building wall sole plate 298 building wall stud 299 inside surface of building wall 300 pet guide with one angled barrier member 301 platform member 302 top face of platform member 303 1st edge of platform member 304 support member 305 2nd edge of platform member 306 barrier member 307 side edge of platform member 309 platform angle 310 barrier angle 312 platform stiffening member 314 inner face of barrier member 315 outer face of barrier member 318 fastener to building 319 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 370 pet passage hole 372 top edge of pet passage hole 374 pet door 376 outdoor frame of pet door 378 indoor frame of pet door 390 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 391 building wall adjacent 392 building foundation 393 outside surface of building wall 394 building anchored sill plate 395 building perimeter joist 396 building floor 397 building wall sole plate 398 building wall stud 399 inside surface of building wall 400 pet guide with two angled barrier members 401 platform member 402 top face of platform member 403 1st edge of platform member 404 support member 405 2nd edge of platform member 406 barrier member 407 side edge of platform member 408 side barrier member 409 platform angle 410 barrier angle 412 platform stiffening member 413 side barrier angle 414 inner face of barrier member 415 outer face of barrier member 416 inner face of side barrier member 417 outer face of side barrier member 418 fastener to building 419 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 470 pet passage hole 472 top edge of pet passage hole 474 pet door 476 outdoor frame of pet door 478 indoor frame of pet door 490 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 491 building wall adjacent 492 building foundation 493 outside surface of building wall 494 building anchored sill plate 495 building perimeter joist 496 building floor 497 building wall sole plate 498 building wall stud 499 inside surface of building wall 500 folding pet guide with one barrier member 501 platform member 502 top face of platform member 503 1st edge of platform member 504 support member 505 2nd edge of platform member 506 barrier member 507 side edge of platform member 509 platform angle 510 barrier angle 511 platform stiffening anchor member with rotary latch lock hole 512 platform stiffening member 514 inner face of barrier member 515 outer face of barrier member 518 fastener to building 519 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 520 pivot members of support member 521 longitudinal openings of pivot members of support member 522 pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 523 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 524 pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 525 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 526 pivot members of barrier member 527 longitude openings of pivot members of barrier member 532 pivot pin of platform 533 pivot pin of barrier 540 rotary latch 541 rotary latch hole 542 rotary latch lock hole 543 rotary latch pawl 560 stationary locking bar plate member 561 locking bar hole 567 lock plate fastener outdoor 570 pet passage hole 572 top edge of pet passage hole 574 pet door 576 outdoor frame of pet door 578 indoor frame of pet door 590 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 591 building wall adjacent 592 building foundation 593 outside surface of building wall 594 building anchored sill plate 595 building perimeter joist 596 building floor 597 building wall sole plate 598 building wall stud 599 inside surface of building wall 600 folding pet guide with two barrier members 601 platform member 602 top face of platform member 603 1st edge of platform member 604 support member 605 2nd edge of platform member 606 barrier member 607 side edge of platform member 608 side barrier member 609 platform angle 610 barrier angle 611 platform stiffening anchor member with rotary latch lock hole 612 platform stiffening member 613 side barrier angle 614 inner face of barrier member 615 outer face of barrier member 616 inner face of side barrier member 617 outer face of side barrier member 618 fastener to building 619 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 620 pivot members of support member 621 longitudinal openings of pivot members of support member 622 pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 623 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 624 pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 625 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 626 pivot members of barrier member 627 longitude openings of pivot members of barrier member 628 pivot members of side edge of platform member 629 longitudinal openings of pivot members of side edge of platform member 630 pivot members of side barrier 631 longitudinal openings of pivot members of side barrier 632 pivot pin of platform 633 pivot pin of barrier 634 pivot pin of side barrier 636 side barrier latch pin 637 side barrier latch pin grip 638 side barrier latch pin hole 639 side barrier lock hole 640 rotary latch 641 rotary latch hole 642 rotary latch lock hole 668 lock plate fastener indoor 670 pet passage hole 672 top edge of pet passage hole 674 pet door 676 outdoor frame of pet door 678 indoor frame of pet door 690 building wall with pet passageway hole opening 694 building wall adjacent 692 building foundation 693 outside surface of building wall 694 building anchored sill plate 695 building perimeter joist 696 building floor 697 building wall sole plate 698 building wall stud 699 inside surface of building wall 700 folding pet guide with one angled barrier member 701 platform member 702 top face of platform member 703 1st edge of platform member 704 support member 705 2nd edge of platform member 706 barrier member 707 side edge of platform member 709 platform angle 710 barrier angle 712 platform stiffening member 714 inner face of barrier member 715 outer face of barrier member 719 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 720 pivot members of support member 721 longitudinal openings of pivot members of support member 722 pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 723 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 1st edge of platform member 724 pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 725 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 2nd edge of platform member 726 pivot members of barrier member 727 longitude openings of pivot members of barrier member 733 pivot pin of barrier 744 swing snap latch fasteners 806 barrier member 807 side edge of platform member 808 side barrier member 819 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate 820 pivot members of support member 840 swing snap latch member 841 swing snap latch retaining hole 853 pivot member for swing bar locking rod 855 pivot pin for locking rod 865 locking rod guide plate outdoor 866 locking rod guide plate indoor 867 lock plate fastener outdoor 868 lock plate fastener indoor 895 building perimeter joist 896 building floor 897 building wall sole plate 898 building wall stud 899 inside surface of building wall

900 pet guide

901 platform member

902 top face of platform member

903 1st edge of platform member

904 support member

905 2nd edge of platform member

907 side edge of platform member

909 platform angle

912 platform stiffening member

913 stiffening member

918 fastener to building

919 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate

970 pet passage hole

972 top edge of pet passage hole

974 pet door

976 outdoor frame of pet door

978 indoor frame of pet door

990 building wall with pet passageway hole opening

991 building wall adjacent

992 building foundation

993 outside surface of building wall

994 building anchored sill plate

995 building perimeter joist

996 building floor

997 building wall sole plate

998 building wall stud

999 inside surface of building wall

1000 foldable pet guide with outdoor securement and locking features

1001 platform member

1002 top face of platform member

1003 1st edge of platform member

1004 support member 1005 2nd edge of platform member

1007 side edge of platform member

1009 platform angle

1012 platform stiffening member

1013 stiffening member

1014 front stiffening member

1015 rear stiffening member

1018 fastener to building

1019 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate

1020 pivot members of support member

1021 longitudinal openings of pivot members of support member

1022 pivot members of 1st edge of platform member

1023 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 1st edge of platform member

1024 pivot member

1032 pivot pin of platform

1057 latch member

1060 stationary locking bar plate member

1061 locking bar hole

1062 locking bar attachment plate height

1063 platform member length

1067 locking plate fastener

1068 top edge

1069 back face

1070 pet passage hole

1072 top edge of pet passage hole

1074 pet door

1076 outdoor frame of pet door

1078 indoor frame of pet door

1082 platform thickness

1084 forward extension

1085 lateral position of stiffening member

1087 frame thickness

1088 hinge depth 1090 building wall with pet passageway hole opening

1091 building wall adjacent

1092 building foundation

1093 outside surface of building wall

1094 building anchored sill plate

1095 building perimeter joist

1096 building floor

1097 building wall sole plate

1098 building wall stud

1099 inside surface of building wall

1100 foldable pet guide with indoor securement and locking features

1101 platform member

1102 top face of platform member

1103 1st edge of platform member

1104 support member

1105 2nd edge of platform member

1107 side edge of platform member

1109 platform angle

1112 platform stiffening member

1113 stiffening member

1114 front stiffening member

1115 rear stiffening member

1118 fastener to building

1119 fastener to building reinforcement flange plate

1120 pivot members of support member

1121 longitudinal openings of pivot members of support member

1122 pivot members of 1st edge of platform member

1123 longitudinal openings of pivot members of 1st edge of platform member

1124 pivot member

1125 opening for swing bar

1132 pivot pin of platform

1152 swing bar locking rod member

1153 pivot member for swing bar locking rod 1154 snap grip holding member for swing bar locking rod

1155 pivot pin for locking rod

1156 vertical extension

1157 latch member

1158 width

1159 height

1160 guide plate attachment height

1161 open top

1165 outdoor locking rod guide plate

1165A face of locking rod guide plate outdoor

1165B opening

1165C inner bottom face

1165D taper guide

1165E open top

1166 indoor locking rod guide plate

1166A face of locking rod guide plate indoor

1166B opening

1167 lock plate fastener outdoor

1168 lock plate fastener indoor

1170 pet passage hole

1172 top edge of pet passage hole

1174 pet door

1176 outdoor frame of pet door

1178 indoor frame of pet door

1179 top end

1180 base

1181 distance to top end

1182 building wall thickness

1183 frame thickness

1184 swing bar deployed angle

1185 platform member length

1186 top edge

1187 back face 1188 hinge depth

1189 distance to base

1190 building wall with pet passageway hole opening

1191 building wall adjacent

1192 building foundation

1193 outside surface of building wall

1194 building anchored sill plate

1195 building perimeter joist

1196 building floor

1197 building wall sole plate

1198 building wall stud

1199 inside surface of building wall

Description of Embodiments:

[0057] The detailed description describes non-limiting exemplary embodiments. Any individual features may be combined with other features as required by different applications for at least the benefits described herein. As used herein, the term “about” means plus or minus 10% of a given value unless specifically indicated otherwise.

[0058] A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material to which a claim for copyright is made. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records; but reserves all other copyright rights whatsoever.

[0059] As used herein, the term “shaped” means that an item has the overall appearance of a given shape even if there are minor variations from the pure form of said given shape.

[0060] As used herein, the term “generally” when referring to a shape means that an ordinary observer will perceive that an object has said shape even if there are minor variations from said shape. [0061] As used herein, relative orientation terms, such as “up”, “down”, “top”, “bottom”, “left”, “right”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, “distal” and “proximal” are defined with respect to an initial presentation of an object and will continue to refer to the same portion of an object even if the object is subsequently presented with an alternative orientation, unless otherwise noted.

[0062] The features of this invention are identified and illustrated in FIG. 1 through FIG. 32 and listed above in the table called List of Reference Numerals. The examples and the referenced drawings identified in this detailed description are merely exemplary.

[0063] Some embodiments of the invention are foldable, which allows the pet caregiver to collapse the apparatus when necessary. Others are rigid. Many features of the rigid embodiments have similarity to and parity with the foldable embodiments of the invention.

[0064] A first embodiment of the features of the apparatus are illustrated in FIG. 1. This illustration shows a pet apparatus 900 with a rigid, planar platform member 901 having a first edge 903 and a second edge 905. The first edge 903 is closest to the building wall 990 with the pet passage opening 970. The second edge 905 is opposite from the wall 990. Side edges 907 are also shown. The wall 990 may rest on a building foundation 992.

[0065] A support member 904, which is also of rigid, planar form, is joined to the platform member along the first edge 903 of the platform member. The platform member may be at an angle 909 with respect to the support member. A suitable angle is about 90 degrees. Other angles may be suitable as discussed in more detail below.

[0066] Depending from the platform member 901 are stiffening members 913 which increase the structural rigidity of the apparatus and may serve as an aid to manufacturing process in cases where material flows along members during molding process. There may be one or more stiffening members arranged along the surfaces or edges of the platform member. Support member 904 meets the platform member along edge 903 and is provided for the purpose of securement of the apparatus to the surface envelope 993 of the building structure. The apparatus 900 is positioned below the pet passage hole 970, and adjacent to the frame 976 of the pet door 974. The pet door may be hingedly joined to the frame so that it can swing forward and backward. In some cases, support member 904 may be integral with the lower edge of the pet door frame 976 and is otherwise attached below the pet passage hole 970, on surface envelope 993 of the building.

[0067] A second embodiment of the invention 1000 is illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4 wherein the platform member is foldable along edge 1003 relative to the support member 1004 mounted on the building envelope 1093. The building envelope may comprise the outer surface of the building wall 1090. When folded, the pet guide is no longer available for pet passage wherein the platform angle 1009 increases from its deployed state to about 180 degrees. When folded, the platform member covers pet passage hole 1070, pet door 1074, and at least a portion of the pet door frame 1076 and is secured to the outside surface of the building wall 1090 from outside the building. Securement is achieved from outside of the building when stationary locking bar plate member 1060 passes through a locking bar hole 1061 located at about the second edge 1005 of platform member 1001. A detail of their engagement is shown in FIG. 29C.

[0068] Depending from platform member 1001 are stiffening members 1012, 1013, 1014, and 1015, which increase the structural rigidity of the apparatus and, as previously mentioned, may serve as an aid to manufacturing process in cases where material flows along members during molding process. There may be one or more stiffening members arranged along the surfaces or edges of the platform member. Some platform stiffening members 1015 serve as rotation stops which rest upon the face of support member 1004, holding the platform in the deployed position.

[0069] Referring to figure 3, the pet guide 1000 may comprise: a. a platform member 1001 comprising: i. a first edge 1003; ii. a second edge 1005 at a platform length 1063 opposite of said first edge; and iii. a locking bar hole 1061 located at about said second edge of said platform member, said locking bar hole passing through said platform member; b. a support member 1004 comprising a top edge 1068 and a back face

1069; c. a pivot member 1024 joining said first edge of said platform member to said top edge of said support member such that said platform member can alternate between a generally horizontal position (Figure 2) and a generally vertical position (similar to pet guide 1100 as shown in figure 7D) when said support member is attached to a vertical wall 1090; and d. a locking bar plate member 1060 adapted to be attached to said vertical wall at a height 1062 above said top edge of said support member of about said length of said platform member wherein: e. a distal end of said locking bar plate member comprises a latch member 1057; and f. said locking bar plate member has a forward extension 1084 greater than a thickness 1082 of said platform member such that said latch member will pass through said platform member when said platform member is rotated into said generally vertical position and said locking bar plate member passes through said locking bar hole (see FIG. 29C).

[0070] The latch member 1057 may comprise a hole that is accessible (see FIG. 29C) when said platform member is in said generally vertical position and said latch member has proceeded through said platform member such that a shackle (not shown) may be passed therethrough thus securing said platform member in said generally vertical position.

[0071] The pet guide 1000 may further comprise one or more of: a. a front stiffening member 1014 located at about said second edge of said platform member and depending therefrom; b. a rear stiffening member 1015 located at about said first edge of said platform member and depending therefrom; c. a stiffening member 1012 located at about a side edge 1007 of said platform member and depending therefrom; or d. a stiffening member 1013 located at a lateral position 1085 from said side edge of said platform member and depending therefrom. [0072] The platform member 1001 and said one or more stiffening members 1012, 1013, 1014, 1015 may be a unitary piece. A material of construction of said unitary piece may be a plastic. The unitary piece may be formed by injection molding.

[0073] The generally horizontal position of the platform member 1001 may have a downward slope 1009 from the first edge 1003 of the platform member to the second edge 1005 of the platform member.

[0074] Referring to figure 2, the pet guide 1000 may further comprise a pet door 1074 wherein said platform member is dimensioned to cover said pet door when: a. said pet door is mounted in said vertical wall at a position between said top edge 1068 of said support member 1004 and said stationary locking bar plate member 1060; and b. said platform member is in said generally vertical position.

[0075] The pet door may comprise an outdoor frame 1076 wherein: a. said pivot member 1024 is spaced at a hinge depth 1088 from said back face 1069 of said support member; and b. said hinge depth 1088 is about the same as a thickness 1087 of said outdoor frame such that said platform member will lay flat against said outdoor frame when said platform member is in said generally vertical position (similar to item 1100 in figure 7D).

[0076] A third embodiment of the invention 1100 is illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 7D wherein the platform member is foldable along edge 1103 relative to the support member 1104 of the building envelope 1193. The building envelope may comprise the outer surface of the building wall 1190. Similar to the previous embodiment 1000, the pet guide 1100 of the third embodiment is no longer available for pet passage after the platform angle 1109 increases from its deployed state, to about 180 degrees. When folded, the platform member covers pet passage hole 1170, pet door 1174, and at least a portion of the pet door frame 1176 and is secured to the outside surface of the building wall 1190, but in this embodiment, the securement is achieved from inside the building. Securement is achieved when one end of the swing bar locking rod member 1152 passes through the building wall 1190 above the pet door opening 1170 for securement inside the building. As the end of the swing bar locking rod 1152 passes through the building wall, the rod is guided and aligned by the shape of an outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165. Inside the building, the end of the swing bar locking rod member 1152 passes through an indoor locking rod guide plate 1166. FIGS. 7 A, 7B, 7C & 7D illustrate sequential position of the indoor securement of this foldable pet guide, also illustrating position and interdependence of indoor locking features 1152, 1165 & 1166 during folding operation. FIG. 7D shows the foldable pet guide fully folded against the building envelope 1193.

[0077] When the platform member 1101 is deployed for pet use, the swing bar locking rod 1152 is held in a stored position at the bottom of the platform member 1101 as shown in FIG. 6. During platform folding, one end of the swing bar 1152 is released from the snap grip holding member 1154 and is manipulated into alignment with the outdoor guide plate member 1165 and indoor guide plate member 1166. FIGS. 28A and 31A through 3 ID include detail views of the indoor and outdoor guide plates. Shape features 1165C and 1165D of the outdoor guide plate member 1165 that guide the locking rod, are identified in FIGS. 31A, 31B, and 31C. FIG. 28B provides detail view of the swing bar locking rod 1152, pivot member for swing bar locking rod 1153, and snap grip holding member for swing bar locking rod 1154.

[0078] Referring to figure 5, the pet guide 1100 may comprise: a. a platform member 1101 comprising: i. a first edge 1103; and ii. a second edge 1105 at a platform length 1185 opposite of said first edge; and b. a support member 1104 comprising a top edge 1186 and a back face 1187; c. a pivot member 1124 joining said first edge of said platform member to said top edge of said support member such that said platform member can alternate between a generally horizontal position (Fig. 5] and a generally vertical position (Fig. 7D) when said support member is attached to a vertical wall 1190 (Fig. 7A); d. a swing bar locking rod member 1152 pivotably attached 1153 (Fig. 6] to said platform at about said second edge, said swing bar locking rod member comprising a latch member 1157 at a top end thereof; e. an outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165 comprising a face 1165A and an opening 1165B in said face; and f. an indoor locking rod guide plate 1166 comprising a face 1166A and an opening 1166B in said face wherein: g. said outdoor locking rod guide plate is adapted to be attached to an outdoor side of a vertical wall 1190 (Fig. 7 A) at a height 1160 above said top edge of said support member that is about equal to said platform length; h. said indoor locking rod guide plate is adapted to be attached to an indoor side of said vertical wall opposite of said outdoor locking rod guide plate; i. said swing bar locking rod member has a stored position underneath said platform member (Fig. 6); and j. said swing bar locking rod member has a deployed position above said platform member (Fig. 5) such that: i. a base 1180 of said swing bar locking rod member has a distance 1189 from said pivot member of about said platform member length; ii. said swing bar locking rod member has a deployed angle 1184 with respect to said platform member of less than 90 degrees such that a distance 1181 from said top end of said swing bar locking rod member to said pivot member is about equal to said platform member length.

[0079] The height 1159 of said opening 1165B in said face 1165A of said outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165 is larger than a width 1158 of said swing bar locking rod member such that said swing bar locking rod member can pass through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide member at an acute angle when said platform member is rotated upwards (Fig. 7C) to said generally vertical position (Fig. 7D).

[0080] The outdoor locking rod guide plate may have an open top 1165E extending rearward from said face of said locking rod guide plate such that said swing bar locking rod member may extend above said open top of said outdoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

[0081] Referring to figure 31A, the outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165 may comprise shape features 1165D that are inwardly angled to guide said swing bar locking rod member into alignment with said opening in said face of said indoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

[0082] Referring to figure 31B, the outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165 may comprise an inner bottom face 1165C that is upwardly angled to guide said swing bar locking rod member into alignment with said opening in said face of said indoor locking rod guide plate when said platform member is rotated upward to said generally vertical position and said swing bar locking rod member passes through said opening in said face of said outdoor locking rod guide plate.

[0083] Referring to figure 6, a snap grip 1154 may be positioned underneath said platform member to hold said swing bar locking rod member in said stored position.

[0084] Referring to figure 5, the pet guide 1100 may further comprise a front stiffening member 1114 depending from said second edge 1105 of said platform member 1101. The front stiffening member and said second edge together may comprise an opening 1125 to allow said swing bar locking rod member to pass therethrough between said deployed position and said stored position.

[0085] In order to pass through a typical vertical wall thickness 1182 (Fig. 7A), the swing bar locking rod member 1152 may have a vertical extension 1156 above the platform member in the range of 50 mm to 200 mm.

[0086] The pet guide 1100 may comprise one or more of: a. a front stiffening member 1114 located at about said second edge 1105 of said platform member 1101 and depending therefrom; b. a rear stiffening member 1115 located at about said first edge 1103 of said platform member and depending therefrom; c. a stiffening member 1112 located at about a side edge 1107 of said platform member and depending therefrom; or d. a stiffening member 1113 (Fig. 6) located at a lateral position from said side edge of said platform member and depending therefrom.

[0087] The platform member 1101 and said one or more stiffening members 1112, 1113, 1114, 1115 may be a unitary piece. A material of construction of said unitary piece may be a plastic. The unitary piece may be formed by injection molding.

[0088] The generally horizontal position of the platform member 1101 may have a downward slope 1109 from the first edge 1103 of the platform member to the second edge 1105 of the platform member.

[0089] Referring to figures 7A through 7D, the pet guide 1100 may further comprise a pet door 1174 wherein said platform member is dimensioned to cover said pet door when: a. said pet door is mounted in said vertical wall at a position between said top edge 1186 of said support member 1104 and said outdoor locking rod guide plate 1165; and b. said platform member is in said generally vertical position (Fig. 7D). [0090] The pet door may comprise an outdoor frame 1176 wherein: a. said pivot member 1124 is spaced at a hinge depth 1188 (Fig. 5] from said back face 1187 of said support member; and b. said hinge depth 1188 is about the same as a thickness 1087 of said outdoor frame such that said platform member will lay flat against said outdoor frame when said platform member is in said generally vertical position (Fig. 7D).

[0091] FIG. 8 introduces another possible embodiment of the invention wherein a primary barrier member, heretofore referred to simply as barrier member, which also has a rigid planar construction is provided. The barrier member is joined to the platform member along the second edge 105 of the platform member, which places the barrier member 106 opposite to the pet passage opening 170. In embodiment 100, the support member 104, and the barrier member 106 are rigidly engaged with platform member 101. The support member 104 is attached to the outside surface of the building envelope 193, to which the plane of the support member is largely parallel. [0092] FIG. 1 shows the engagement of a basic form of the pet guide 900 with the building wall 990 and pet passage hole 970. Seen in FIG. 1 are two Platform Stiffening Members 913. These members are attached to the bottom surface of the platform member 901. One, two, or any other specific number or pattern of stiffening anchor members are included, as well as grid or waffle pattern. Stiffening members may also be integrated with the support members, or barrier members, where present.

[0093] Embodiment 900 is accompanied by embodiments 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000, & 1100 that include additional features which combine to adapt the invention to meet similar access needs of different Pets and Pet owners. All illustrated embodiments of the invention shall include a platform member, identified as 101, 201,301, 401, 501, 601, 701, 801, 901, 1001, or 1101 in the different embodiments, each having opposite first, second and side edges. The position of the first, second, and side edges are illustrated in the FIGS, of the Invention and identified in the List of Reference Numerals. All embodiments of the invention also include a support member 104, 204, 304, 404, 504, 604, 704, 804, 904, 1004, 1104 that is connected about the first edge of the platform member, in either a fixed or pivoting manner. The platform and primary barrier members can be joined to the support member in either a fixed or pivoting manner. Several embodiments of the invention 200, 400, 600, 800 include a side barrier member 208, 408, 608, 808 respectively, that is connected about either side edge of the platform member. When present, the side barrier member depends from either side edge 207, 407, 607, 807 of the platform members. The side barrier member may be on either side of the apparatus relative to the pet door opening. The angle at which the platform member meets the support member is the platform angle 109, 209, 309, 409, 509, 609, 709, 809, 909, 1009, 1109. The angle at which a primary barrier member meets the top face of a platform member is the barrier angle 110, 201, 310,

410, 510, 610, 710, 810. The angle at which a side barrier member meets the top face 202, 402, 602, 802 of a platform member is the side barrier angle 213, 413, 613, 813. The aforementioned angle features are discussed later in the detailed description of the invention.

[0094] Rigid (non-foldable) integrations of the invention are presented as embodiments 100, 200, 300, 400 and 900. These are illustrated in Figs. 1 through 27. Foldable embodiments of the invention are 500, 600, 700, 800, 100, and 1100 which are illustrated several times in Figs. 2 through 27. The foldable embodiments of the invention allow the pet caregiver to collapse the apparatus when necessary or desired. FIGS. 7, 18, 21, 24 & 27 show the sequence of platform, barrier, and appurtenance positions which occur as the apparatus is folded. In the folded position, the inside face of the barrier members 514, 614, 714, 814 come to rest on a plane that is parallel and adjacent to the plane of the top face 502, 502, 702, 802 of the platform member. The platform member, along with the barrier members keeping in their folded position, is subsequently pivoted upward around the axis of the first edge of the platform member, until the plane of platform and barrier members is parallel and adjacent to the wall 590, 690, 790, 890, 990, 1090, 1190 containing the pet passageway opening. FIG. 7A, FIG.

18A, FIG. 21A, FIG. 24A & FIG. 27A show the apparatus in fully deployed position, available for pet transit. FIG. 7D, FIG. 18D, FIG. 21D, FIG. 24D & FIG. 27D show the apparatus in fully folded position. When the apparatus is fully folded, the Pet is prevented from entering or exiting through the pet passageway because the collapsed apparatus is positioned against the outside surface of the building envelope, and directly covering the pet door opening.

[0095] The foldable embodiments of the invention are 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000 & 1100 which respectively include pivot features 520 through 533, 620 through 634, 720 through 733, 820 through 834, 1020 through 1032, 1120 through 1132 along the longitudinal edges of the platform, support and barrier members. Although specific hinge elements are shown in the illustrations, any type of hinge mechanism can be used in the edge locations shared between support members and platform members that creates the fulcrum around which the platform member turns as it is folded upward towards the wall. Likewise, in embodiments where barrier members are used, any type of hinge mechanism can be used in the edge locations shared between platform member and barrier member that creates the fulcrum around which the barrier member turns as it is folded flat and parallel to the plane of the platform member.

[0096] For clarity, only the pivot features of embodiment 800 are described herewith.

Embodiment 800 and its elements are shown in FIGS. 25 through 27. As shown in FIG. 26, Platform member 801 includes a set of pivot members 822 along its first edge. The pivot members 822 engage, in an interlocking manner, with a matching set of pivot members 820 along the upper edge of the support member 804. A longitudinal opening 823 exists along the axis that is shared by the pivot members 822 and 823 as they interlock. A hinge pin or similar pivot creates the fulcrum around which the platform member turns as it is folded upward towards the wall. The foldable joint between the barrier member 806 and the platform member 801 is arranged similarly with pivot members 824 along the second edge of the platform member 805 and pivot members 826 may be found along the inside face 814 of the barrier member. When interlocked, pivot members 824 and 826 include a longitudinal opening 827 along their shared axis. In this case, a hinge pin or similar pivot serves as the fulcrum around which the barrier member rotates until it is parallel and adjacent to the plane of the platform member.

The pivot members 826 of the barrier member, as well as the barrier 806 itself meet as a hard stop against platform supports 811, 812 which include shape features to stop the barrier at the barrier angle 810. The present embodiment 800, also includes a side barrier member 808, which has a set of pivot members 830 along its inside face 816. These pivot members 830 engage with, in an interlocking manner with a set of pivot members 828 that are located along the side edge 807 of the platform member 801. When interlocked, pivot members 828 and 830 include a longitudinal opening 831 along their shared axis. Wherein pivot members 828 & 830 include shape features to stop the side barrier at the side barrier angle 813. In this case, a hinge pin or similar pivot serves as the fulcrum around which the side barrier member 808 rotates until it is parallel and adjacent to the plane of the platform member 801. By definition, in the construction of any foldable embodiment of the invention, the number of combined pivot members along a given shared axis is not limited and can be as few as one per member. The number of pivot members in a given set of interlocking pivot members, as shown in the illustrations is seven per longitudinal axis, but this is not a limiting number. Further by definition, although one continuous pin is shown along each axis, the length of a given hinge pin is not limited to a specific type, length or number of pins. As an alternative to one pin, several pin segments may be applied along each axis. As previously implied at the beginning of this paragraph, the pivot elements of embodiment 800 described in this paragraph are also applicable to embodiments 500, 600, 700, 1000 & 1100.

[0097] The foldable embodiments of the invention which include barrier members, also may include latching mechanism features with the defined purpose of holding the position of barrier members at a desired barrier angle 510, 610, 613, 710, 810, 813 when the barrier member is in position for pets to use the apparatus. Examples of these are 511,

540 through 542, 611, 636 through 642, 711, 740 through 744, 811, 840 through 844 which are integrated with the platform and barrier members. One type of barrier holding mechanism is referred to as a rotary latch 540, 640 and is illustrated with embodiments 500 and 600. The rotary latch can be integrated with any of the foldable embodiments. The elements of the rotary latch can be seen in FIG. 16, FIG. 17, FIG. 18, FIG. 19, FIG. 20 and FIG. 21. Figures 30 and FIG. 30B provide close-up detailed views of the rotary latch mechanism 540, 640 that includes a rotary shaft which rotates within a hole in the barrier member. When the knob is turned to the lock position, a pawl-like bar 543, 643 is set into place within in a lock hole or slot 542, 642 in the platform support member 511, 611.

[0098] When a side barrier is present, a side barrier latch pin 636 may be included to further secure the side barrier in the open position. This feature is illustrated as an integral part of embodiment 600 in FIG. 19 and shown in isolated detail in FIG. 30A. The latch pin 636 in constrained in a transverse hole 638 along an edge the primary barrier member 606. When the primary barrier and side barrier are both in their open position, the hole of the barrier member 636 is in alignment with a side barrier lock hole 639. In this position, the side barrier latch pin 636 can press into the side barrier lock hole. The elements of the side barrier latch pin can be seen in FIG. 19, FIG. 20, FIG. 30A.

[0099] The second type of barrier latching mechanism is referred to as the swing snap latch and is illustrated with embodiments 700 and 800. The elements of swing snap latch can be seen in FIGS. 22 through 26 and FIG. 32, the last of which includes close detail views. The swing snap latch mechanism 740, 840 includes a stationary portion 742, 842 shaft which is rigidly attached to a Platform Stiffening Member 711, 811 along a bottom edge of the platform member 701, 801. The swing snap latch mechanism also includes a rotating portion 740, 840; a pivot pin 743, 843 and a retaining hole 741, 841. The retaining hole is cut into the outer face 715, 815, 817 of the barrier member or side barrier member in a location that allows the rotating portion 740, 840 to flexibly snap into place, with a flexible interference fit, when the barrier member is at the specified barrier angle 710,

810, 813 for pet passage. The rotating portion of the snap latch mechanism 740, 840 is constructed in such a way that it has sufficient strength and flexibility to hold the barrier members in place by means of its engagement with the retaining hole 741, 841, while still being removable for operation. Although illustrated with embodiments 700 and 800, the swing snap latch can be integrated with any of the foldable embodiments.

[0100] The foldable embodiments also may include integral securement & locking features 560 through 567, 652 through 668, 760 through 767, 852 through 868, 1060 through 1061, 1152 through 1168. In combination, these features hold the apparatus in the folded position, and also provide the opportunity to lock the apparatus in place using a padlock, bolt or bar. There are two types of securement & locking features included in this specification. The first type is results in an apparatus that is secured from the outside of the building. Outdoor securement & locking features are illustrated with embodiments 500, 700 & 1000. The second type is results in an apparatus that is secured from the inside of the building. Indoor securement & locking features are illustrated with embodiments 600, 800 & 1100. Either indoor or outdoor securement & locking features can be integrated with any of the foldable embodiments.

[0101] The outdoor securement & locking features of the invention are shown in FIGS. 2 through 4, 16 through 18, and 22 through 24. Detail views are provided on FIG. 29. The outdoor securement & locking features include a stationary locking bar plate member 560, 760, 960 and locking bar hole 561, 761, 961. FIG. 2, FIG. 3, & FIG. 4 show the locking bar hole 1061 located through platform member 1001, near the second edge 1005 of the platform member. For embodiments with a barrier member along the second edge of the platform member, the locking bar hole is incorporated with the lower portion of the primary barrier member 506, 706. FIG. 16 & FIG. 22 show the location of locking the bar hole 561 & 761 in the lower portion of the respective barrier members 506, 706.

[0102] The outdoor securement stationary locking bar plate member 560, 760, 1060 is attached to the outside surface of the building envelope 590, 790, 1090 directly above the pet door opening, as illustrated in Figs. 18, 24, & 2 respectively. FIGS. 18 A through D and 24 A through D show the outdoor locking features during folding. The hole, 561,

761, 1061 is situated in such a way that it aligns directly with the stationary locking bar plate member 560, 760 when the apparatus is folded completely. FIGS. 18D and 24D show the apparatus in fully folded position. A padlock, bolt, rod or other device can be inserted through a hole which is provided in 560, 760, 1060 when the apparatus is in the fully folded position. [0103] The indoor securement & locking features of the invention are shown in FIGS.

5 through 7, 19 through 21, and 25 through 28. Detail views are provided on FIG. 28 & FIG. 31. The indoor securement & locking features of the invention include an indoor stationary locking rod guide plate member 666, 866, 1166 and an outdoor stationary locking rod guide plate 665, 865, 1165. The stationary elements of the indoor securement & locking features are attached respectively to the inside and outside of the building envelope. The indoor securement & locking features include a swing bar security locking mechanism are shown in isolated detail in FIG. 28A & FIG. 28B. FIG. 6 shows the swing bar locking mechanisms elements (1152 through 1155) attached to the bottom surface of platform member 1101. FIG. 5 shows an opening 1024, which is provided in the platform and support members to allow passage of the swing bar 1152. In embodiments with barrier members, the swing bar locking mechanism elements (652 through 655, 852 through 855) are attached to the outer face 615, 815 of the primary barrier member 606, 806; as shown in FIGS. 19 through 21 and 25 through 28. When the invention is in the fully folded position, as shown in FIGS. 7D, 2 ID, and 27D, the swing bar locking rod members 652, 852, 1152 extend through the building envelope and reach the inside of the building. This allows a padlock, bolt, rod or other device to be inserted through a hole which is provided in 652, 852, 1152 when the apparatus is in the fully folded position. Additional illustrations of the swing bar locking mechanism and its relationship to the invention and the building envelope are provided in Figs. 5 through 7, Figs. 19 through 21, and Figs. 25 through 27.

[0104] FIG. 28 & FIG. 31 provide close-up detail views of the parts which comprise the swing bar locking mechanism. Focusing first on FIG. 28B, the elements shown are the swing bar locking rod member 1152, the pivot member for the swing bar locking rod 1153, the snap grip holding member 1154. The pivot member 1153 and the snap grip member 1154 are attached firmly to the bottom face of platform member 1101 as shown in FIG. 6. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, in embodiments with barrier members, the pivot members (653, 853) and snap latch members (654, 854) are attached firmly to the outer face 615, 815 of the primary barrier member 606, 806, as shown in Figs. 19 and 25. The purpose of the snap grip holding members 654, 854, 1154 is to retain the swing bar in place, when the apparatus is in the open position for pet travel. The snap grip holding members 655, 855, 1154 may use friction or a combination holes, pins, or other shape features to retain the swing bar. The purpose of the pivot members 653, 853, 1153 is to allow the swing bar locking rod 652, 852, 1152 to rotate around the pivot pin 655, 855, 1155 in a direction away from the bottom face of the platform member and outer face of the barrier member respectively; this rotation allows the swing bar locking rod 652, 852, 1152 to become aligned in a position to insert through the envelope of the building as it passes through the outdoor stationary locking bar guide plate member 665, 865, 1165 and the indoor stationary locking bar guide plate member 666, 866, 1166. The sequence of operation of the swing bar locking mechanism is illustrated in FIGS. 7 A through D, FIGS. 21A through 2 ID and FIGS. 27 A through 27D.

[0105] The outdoor stationary locking bar guide plate members 1165 and the indoor stationary locking bar guide plate members 1166 are shown in close-up detail views in FIG. 28A and FIGS. 31A, 31B, and 31C. These elements of the invention are attached to the building envelope adjacent to and above the pet door opening. The outdoor guide plate member is attached to the outdoor surface of the building envelope, and the indoor guide plate member is attached to the indoor surface of the building envelope. Both indoor and outdoor guide plate members serve as a guide for the locking rod 1152, as a structural reinforcement, and as a weather seal for the building envelope.

[0106] FIG. 31C shows the opening 1165B of the outdoor guide plate 1165. The opening is by definition slightly higher and wider than the corresponding cross section height and width of the swing bar member 1152. The greater clearance allowed from the increase in opening size relative to the swing bar allows the operator of the invention apparatus greater ease and flexibility when folding the apparatus, and first placing the swing bar to meet the opening 1165B of the outdoor guide plate 1165. FIG. 31A shows a top view of the outdoor guide plate 1165 where the side edges 1165D taper symmetrically towards the center of the guide plate 1165. The shape of said taper guides the swing bar 1152 towards the middle of the passage. FIG. 31B provides a side view wherein the innermost bottom face 1165C of the outdoor guide plate has a shape that inclines slightly upward towards the end most part of the outdoor guide plate. Together these inclined faces 1165C & 1165D serve to direct the path of the swing bar 1152 towards the opening 1166B of the indoor guide plate member. The indoor guide plate member 1166 is shown in FIG. 31D. [0107] The angle at which the barrier members meet their respective support members is referred to as the barrier angle. Whereas the barrier angles 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 710, 810 are defined as the angle at which the primary barrier member meets the top surface of the platform member, and the side barrier angles 213, 413,

613, 813 are defined as the angle at which the side barrier member meets the top face of the platform member; it is specified that the barrier angle and the side barrier angle may be 90 degrees or some other angle. When the barrier angles are closest to 90 degrees, the apparatus is integrated to itself, and is embodied with the platform and guide barriers arranged in square or rectangular manner, which is box-like. Pet travel is likely to be more constrained in the box-like arrangement. Box-like configurations, also referred to as vertical barrier embodiments, are presented as embodiments 100, 200, 500, and 700 of the invention. When the barrier angle and side barrier angles are greater than 90 degrees relative to the top surface of the platform member, the apparatus is more open at the top or funnel-like. Pet travel is likely to be less constrained for the animal in the funnel-like arrangement. Funnel-like configurations, referred to herein as angled barrier arrangements, are presented as embodiments 300, 400, 700, and 800 of the invention.

[0108] Barrier height can be understood to be the vertical distance between the topmost edge of a barrier member relative to the top face of platform member.

Increases or decreases of barrier height of the apparatus may also result in an increase or decrease of the amount of constraint experienced by the pet when engaging the apparatus. Therefore, barrier height is a parameter which can be specified to adapt the invention to the needs of pets and pet owners. A suitable range of barrier angles is about 90 to 135 degrees.

[0109] In the embodiments of this invention, the angle at which the platform meets the support member and wall of the building is referred to as the platform angle. As stated in the preceding paragraph, the angle at which the platform member meets the barrier member is referred to as the barrier angle. The platform angle is identified as 109, 209, 309, 409, 509, 609, 709, 809, 909, 1009, 1109. A suitable range of platform angles is about 45 to 90 degrees. The barrier angle is identified as 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 710, 810. The side barrier angle is identified as 213, 413, 613, 813. Variations in these three angle characteristics allow the geometry of the apparatus to adapt to differences in pet size and athletic ability, and outdoor ground configuration. The platform members 101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601, 701, 801, 901, 1001, 1101 are joined to the support member along the first edge of the platform members 103, 203, 303, 403, 503, 603, 703, 803, 903, 1003, 1103. When the platform angle is exactly 90 degrees, the platform member acts as a step upon which the pet can rest or pause. A platform angle which is less than 90 degrees produces a downward sloping angle of the platform, making a ramp which inclines upward towards the pet door opening. When barrier members are present, the barrier angle depends from the second edge 105, 205, 305, 405, 605, 705, 805 of the platform members and the side barrier angle depends from either side edge 207, 407, 607, 807 of the platform members having a side barrier.

[0110] A subtle crown or camber of the platform face may be included to prevent pooling of rain or melted snow on the platform surface. Holes may also be provided in the platform member, or any of the other members for drainage, improvement of footing traction, or as an aid to manufacturability.

[0111] The embodiments described herein are attached to the outside face of a building wall or envelope 190, 290, 390, 490, 590, 690, 790, 890, 990, 1090, 1190. Suitable relationships between the apparatus, the building envelope, the pet passageway opening, and the pet door are illustrated in Figs. 1, 2, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27. These illustrations include elements of the building structure. The building frame and construction method shown in the aforementioned are typical for wood frame construction upon a masonry or wooden foundation. The examples are not intended to limit the applicability of the invention to this method of building construction.

[0112] In a typical installation, the top face of the platform member may be on the same plane as the inside floor of the building, but this is not a requirement. Also, in a typical installation of a pet door, the vertical distance between top edge of the pet passage opening may be equal to the shoulder height of the pet, also not a requirement. Any given embodiment of invention apparatus may be applied independently of these parameters at the discretion of the pet owner or installer, at any location on the building envelope.

[0113] Suitable materials of construction include wood, metal such as aluminum or steel, molded plastic such as polyethylene, or fiber reinforced resin. Conclusion

[0114] While the disclosure has been described with reference to one or more different exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made, and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt to a particular situation without departing from the essential scope or teachings thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the disclosure shall not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention.