Senate committee passes bill protecting people who rescue pets left in hot cars

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courtesy of @HiLifeDog

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday that would help protect individuals who rescue pets left in unattended hot vehicles.

Rep. Tony Cook from Cicero wrote the bill due to the number of calls agencies receive about animals being trapped in cars.

“There are about 13,600 community animal shelters and control agencies nationwide that receive at least one to two calls per day reporting pets left in hot cars,” Cook said.

“Time is of the essence in these dangerous situations, so it’s important that Hoosiers are not punished for doing the right thing when stepping up to rescue these animals from enduring terrible suffering.”

Cook said under his proposal, people who rescue an animal from a hot vehicle would be provided immunity from civil liability for property damage resulting from their forcible entry.

The person would be required to first notify law enforcement and could only use a reasonable amount of force to remove the animal. The committee did add an amendment that holds the person rescuing the animal responsible for the entry damage.

According to the director of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, there were 269 calls received for dogs being left in vehicles from May 1 through Sept. 30, 2016.

This bill would only apply to domestic, household pets and would not include livestock. The bill will now go to the full Senate.