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Illinois: Allow Good Samaritans to Rescue Animals from Imminent Harm in Parked Cars

Illinois: Allow Good Samaritans to Rescue Animals from Imminent Harm in Parked Cars

Name: Good Samaritan Protection for Rescuers of Animals in Unattended Vehicles

Bill Number: HB 4191

Each year, hundreds of companion animals will tragically lose their lives when their owners leave them unattended in parked vehicles in extreme heat or cold, or in the presence of other dangers. Many pet owners are unaware that even on a mild 70-degree day, the inside of a parked vehicle can reach the temperature of an oven within minutes, causing severe dehydration and even resulting in an animal’s death. Sadly, rolling down the windows of a car has little to no effect on the interior temperature of a car. Conditions can be equally dangerous to companion animals on cold winter days.

HB 4191 would provide immunity from civil damages to an individual who breaks into an unattended vehicle to rescue a companion animal who is suffering from extreme conditions. A good Samaritan should not be liable for reasonable harm done to a vehicle in rescuing an animal left unattended. The bill requires the individual to first reach out to emergency responders before entering the vehicle and to stay with the dog or cat until a law enforcement officer, emergency responder or an animal control officer arrives to take charge.

This bill has already passed the House and is now under consideration by the Senate.

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Senator and urge them to support this legislation.
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Recipients

  • Your State Senator or Senators

Contact

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Message

Please Allow Rescue of Pets Left Unattended in Vehicles in Hot Weather

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for legislation that will protect the health and safety of companion animals, as well as those willing to rescue them. Each year, hundreds of companion animals lose their lives when their owners leave them unattended in vehicles, subjected to extreme heat.

While Illinois already has a law prohibiting leaving dogs and cats in unattended vehicles, HB 4191 would specifically provide civil immunity to individuals who break into an unattended vehicle to rescue a companion animal who is in imminent danger. This individual would first be required to contact emergency responders and would be immune from only reasonable property damage to the vehicle in rescuing the dog or cat.

Enacting legislation to shield rescuers from liability would help raise awareness and may save hundreds of companion animal lives each year.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]