Monday, October 17, 2016

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill that allows Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals at risk of suffocating in severely high temperatures.

With the recent heat waves, many animals have suffered while being locked in sweltering cars. Any Good Samaritan would be willing to help, but might fear being convicted of vehicle damage. A new law, called the California Right to Rescue Act, protects helpful citizens and saves the lives of animals in peril.

After several incidents where dogs died of heatstroke after being locked in cars on hot days, Assemblymembers Marc Steinorth and Miguel Santiago, along with a few others, introduced AB 797 to the California legislature.

The bill states that citizens must first contact law enforcement if they believe an animal is in immediate danger. However, if the car is locked, and law enforcement is not arriving soon enough, the citizen is therefore immune to any liability for vehicle damage should they decide to break in and rescue the animal.

“We’re very excited about the lives this new law will save,” Steinorth wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support.”

The Humane Society of the United States and the Los Angeles district attorney’s office both supported the new measure, which will hopefully save many lives from inhumane suffering and inspire citizens to help an animal in need. 

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