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New Jersey: Eliminate the Danger of Heatstroke and Death for Animals in Hot Cars

New Jersey: Eliminate the Danger of Heatstroke and Death for Animals in Hot Cars

Name: Immunity from Civil and Criminal Liability for Rescuing Animals in Hot Cars

Bill Number: A 2318/S 1860

Every summer, owners who carelessly leave their dogs unattended in cars endanger their companion animals’ lives when temperatures rise. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, parked cars easily trap the sun’s heat. The temperature inside a car can rise up to 114 degrees in just ten minutes—even if windows are left open. In this brutal condition, dogs and cats are left vulnerable to heatstroke or death.  

Companion bills A 2318 and S 1860 would amend existing law to require that any animal be in immediate danger of bodily injury or death before a private individual is granted the right to rescue the animal. The bill would provide criminal and civil liability immunity for damage done to the vehicle and/or injury to the animal in conjunction with the rescue, as long as the rescuer did not engage in reckless or willful misconduct.

This legislation also requires the individual to make a good faith effort to locate the vehicle’s owner and contact rescue personnel before attempting to save the animal themselves.

The amendment would better protect animals, the individuals seeking to rescue them, and the owners of the cars who might be victimized by a wrongdoer relying on this law to maliciously damage vehicles or steal companion animals.

Please ask your state legislators to help these bills to move forward.

 

Call to Actions:

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

  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives

Contact

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Message

Please support providing immunity for rescuers of animals in immediate danger in hot cars

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support A 2318/S 1860, which would grant immunity from civil and criminal liability for rescuers of animals in hot cars. This bill would clarify existing law to require that any animal be in immediate danger of bodily injury or death before a private individual is granted the right to rescue the animal. The bill would provide criminal and civil liability immunity for damage done to the vehicle and/or injury to the animal in conjunction with the rescue, as long as the rescuer did not engage in reckless or willful misconduct.

Every summer, owners who carelessly leave their dogs in hot cars endanger their companion animals' lives as hot temperatures rise. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, parked cars easily trap the sun's heat. They can reach a temperature of 114 degrees in just ten minutes--even with windows open. In this extreme heat, dogs and cats are left vulnerable to heatstroke or death.

These companion bills would specifically require that private citizens have a reasonable belief that the animal is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death. They also require the individual to make a good faith effort to locate the vehicle's owner and contact rescue personnel before attempting to save the animal themselves.

I hope that you will give your full support to the passage of A 2318/S 1860, which would provide rescuers with immunity when saving the lives of vulnerable animals. Thank you for your consideration.

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