California has done it again!
On Saturday, September 24, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill stating no good Samaritan will be held liable for damages when breaking a trapped dog out of a hot car, according to Today.
The bill, known as the Right to Rescue Act, adds immunity from civil or criminal charges possibly faced should anyone other than law enforcement or animal control take action.
Currently, 22 states have laws that help protect animals left in a hot car.
Some states, like Delaware, cite forceful action may only be taken if the animal is confined in a vehicle where temperatures are so high or so low that it may endanger the life of the animal, according to Animal Law.
Other states, such as Florida, have no regulations as to when forceful action may occur, and cite any person who enters a vehicle to remove an animal will not be held liable for any damages.
This includes if the vehicle was locked, the life of the animal was in danger, law enforcement was called, and the good Samaritan stays with with the animal until a first responder arrives, according to Animal Law.
Arizona does have laws against leaving animals in a hot car.
Under Arizona’s law on animal cruelty, a police officer or animal control agent may use force to enter a car in which an animal has been left unattended, and who’s life is at risk.
But the law does not protect any good Samaritan from forcefully entering a locked car where an animal is trapped inside.
With Arizona’s summers painstakingly hot, perhaps legislation should follow California’s lead and grant immunity for those who take action.
In an article for SmartFem written over the summer, a chart depicted just how hot the inside of a car gets with temperatures as cool as 70 degrees.
In just 10 minutes, the inside of a car reaches about 89 degrees, and 104 degrees after 30 minutes.
A the weather begins to cool down, more people are traveling with their pets because the danger of 110 degree weather has passed.
But still, even when it seems to be nice and cool outside, the temperature of a locked car with no ventilation can be life threatening.
Hopefully we will see laws in Arizona protecting citizens from taking action to help our furry friends soon.