Advocates Say Push For ‘Pets In Hot Cars’ Legislation Continues

July 05, 2018
Dog in a car looking out an open window

Illinois lawmakers were unable to agree this spring on a plan to protect good Samaritans who rescue an animal left inside a hot car. Advocates say the push will continue.

sonstroem/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers were unable to agree this spring on a plan to protect good Samaritans who rescue an animal left inside a hot car. Advocates say the push will continue.

The Illinois House approved the effort, but opponents countered a rescue attempt should be left to the experts in animal control, to avoid a run-away animal or an attack.

Marc Ayers— who is the Illinois state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said such scenarios are hypothetical and very rare in states with similar laws.  “We are not seeing dogs fighting rescuers, we’re not seeing dogs getting away from the rescuer going into traffic, or getting hit by a car," he said. 

Under the legislation, someone would be exempted from criminal and civil liabilities, as long as the police are called and the cat or dog is safely handed over to them. Ayers says it’s already against the law in the state to endanger an animal in extreme temperatures.

The measure gives a passerby the power to act, such as breaking into a car, while waiting for authorities to arrive -- and according to Ayers, 13 other states, most recently Louisiana, already have similar legislation. 

Story source: Illinois Public Radio