McGarvey prefiles bill to protect individuals for rescuing animals from hot vehicles

10/20/2017 03:50 PM

State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, has prefiled a bill which would amend current ‘look before you lock’ laws to include household pets.

McGarvey’s bill offers civil protection for individuals who have damaged a vehicle to rescue a domestic pet locked inside a hot car.

The legislation amends current statute to offer civil liability immunity to those who damage a vehicle for the purpose of removing an animal.

“This is about protecting animals,” McGarvey said in a news release. “It is cruel – inhumane – to leave a pet in a car on a hot summer day. The family pet trapped inside a vehicle could quickly become overheated.

“My legislation would simply allow someone, with a good faith belief that a domestic animal is in eminent danger of physical injury if it is not immediately removed to gain entry to the vehicle to rescue it,” he explained. “The intent of the bill is to offer some protection for domestic animals – our pets – and the good Samaritans trying to save them.”

To be eligible for civil immunity under the proposed law the individual would need to believe the animal is in danger, and contact law enforcement, a local fire department or 911 and only uses the amount of force deemed necessary to remove the animal, according to a news release.

The person would need to remain on scene and await the arrival of emergency personnel.

McGarvey worked on the bill with Louisville Metro Councilman Brandon Coan.

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