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Right to Rescue: A Good Samaritan Law for Animals

Dogs in Hot Cars Law

Imagine it's another hot summer day in California: 100 degrees. You're in the grocery store parking lot and see a dog locked inside a truck. Due to the heat outside, it could be up to 170 degrees inside that truck. You don't see any police or firemen nearby, and the animal is clearly suffering. You're faced with a choice - you don't want to damage another person's property, but you also want to save that dog from death by heatstroke. Will you act?

That's just the scenario California state senators had in mind when they unanimously passed Assembly Bill 797 yesterday, a bill that protects those who rescue animals from hot cars from liability for resulting damages. It's already against the law to leave children or animals inside a hot car, and now lawmakers in our state are ensuring that people who act in good faith to rescue animals from oppressively hot vehicles will be shielded from any lawsuits. So if you are forced in good faith to break a car window to save a dog in danger of dying, you can't be sued for that broken window.

Assembly Bill 797 is now set to be voted on by the California State Assembly, and it should pass. The proposed law is a good reminder of how dangerously hot a vehicle's interior can become, even on a mild day. At just 70 degrees outside in the sun, the inside of a car can reach 104 degrees in only half an hour. That's no place for a child or your favorite pet. If there's one thing you take away from this video, it's that our kids and pets deserve the same safety we'd expect for ourselves - so let's do the right thing.

Right to Rescue: California's Good Samaritan Law for Animals from Hackard Law on Vimeo.

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