Rescuing pets from hot cars approved by the Senate

By Darrell Crenshaw

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers who have the urge to save pets from hot cars are on the way to getting that privilege.

The Senate voted 39-9 Thursday to approve giving immunity from civil or criminal liability to a person who breaks into a vehicle to rescue a hot pet.

However, for the rescuer, there could be a small price to pay. A Senate committee amended the bill to make the rescuer responsible for all car repair costs.

“Here in the Senate we thought, hey if you feel that strongly about it, then you ought to pay for the window,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek.

Before breaking into the vehicle, the rescuer must reasonably believe the animal is in true danger, dial 911 or other law enforcement, use no more force than needed to get the animal, and remain with the animal until assistance has arrived.

If the Good Samaritan is injured during the rescue, House Bill 1085 provides immunity for the owner.

Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, voted against the bill, saying this is an issue people should be able to resolve with common sense.

“You don’t need to legislate everything,” Brown said. “I just don’t think we needed to intervene.”

The bill now returns to the House where the author, Rep. Tony Cook, R-Cicero, will review the changes made by the Senate.

Darrell Crenshaw is a reporter for A news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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