Recent news has been plagued with stories involving animals (and sometimes children) being left to suffer in hot cars. Unfortunately, it appears to be a growing trend, concerning citizens and lawmakers alike.
The State of California is so concerned, in fact, that a statewide law has been passed to combat the issue.
It’s called AB 797, and it gives California citizens the authority to break into locked, non-running vehicles if an animal is inside on hot days.
The bill states that a concerned citizen must call law enforcement first before taking action and report any situation where an animal is believed to be in harm’s way. However, if the animals appears to be in imminent danger, the car is locked and law enforcement has not yet arrived, the person may break into the vehicle to rescue the animal. In these cases, AB 797 makes Californians immune to prosecution from damage to a vehicle. California State Assemblymen Marc Steinorth and Miguel Santiago proposed the bill, garnering support from the Humane Society of the United States and the Los Angeles D.A.’s office.
“We’re very excited about the lives this new law will save,” Steinorth said in a statement Saturday on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support.”