Bill filed to protect people who break into cars to save animals
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Hot temperatures, cars and pets do not mix. If passed, a recently filed bill would remove liability of property damage for people who take action to save pets trapped in cars.
It's a story this vet clinic hears all too often.
“During the summer months it is not uncommon for us to get a call at least once or twice a week about somebody who either accidentally left their dog in the car or found someone's dog in a car,” said Dr. Jordan Kautz the Crestview veterinary clinic medical director.
While it's cooler now, it won’t be long before the Texas heat is upon us.
According to Dr. Kautz, this can turn deadly for pets left behind inside cars. “The days were the temperatures are up to 100 degrees it takes 10 to 15 minutes for that car to heat up enough for that dog can get elevated body temperatures where it's a medical issue,” said Dr. Kautz.
A bill was recently filed in the state which, if passed, would remove liability of property damage for those who choose to take action to save a pet trapped in a locked car. “A lot of what we're trying to accomplish here is raise the awareness that heat and cars do not mix and if you see someone's pet in trouble if you break the window,” said Celia Israel the State rep for district 50.
Originally this bill was a part of another filed last session in regards to saving children or the elderly trapped in hot cars but had to be taken out.
“The language was in there for pets but we had to remove that language to get the bill done. We had 140 days and it was urgent we moved forward with the legislation so we're coming back to finish what we started,” said Kautz.
This doesn't mean you can go around smashing windows, if passed, you'll need to contact police before you break in and then remain with the pet until police arrive. “What we're really trying to do is promote good Samaritan behavior,” said Israel.
For now, Dr. Kautz says this is a good reminder to always check your car for your pet if you take them with you on a trip. According to Celia Israel, the state rep who filed the bill, they expect to have a committee formed by the end of the month with testimonies to shortly follow.