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Michigan: Give Rescuers of Animals in Hot Cars Immunity from Criminal Prosecution

Michigan: Give Rescuers of Animals in Hot Cars Immunity from Criminal Prosecution

Name: Criminal Immunity for Forcible Entry to Rescue Animal for Vehicle

Bill Number: HB 4092

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. 

HB 4092 would grant immunity from criminal liability to private citizens who rescue animals left unattended in motor vehicles under conditions that endanger the animals’ health.

Under the legislation’s guidelines, certain conditions must be met in order for the individual rescuer to receive immunity from criminal prosecution:

  • The car must be locked;
  • The rescuer must have a good faith belief that the animal inside the car is in imminent danger;
  • The rescuer must contact law enforcement authorities as soon as possible;
  • The rescuer must place a notice on the car telling the owner where they can find the animal:
  • The rescuer must remain with the animal until a responder arrives; and
  • The rescuer may not use any more force than necessary when breaking into and entering the vehicle.


Please ask your state Representative to help this bill to move forward.

 

Call to Actions:

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

  • Your State Representative or Representatives

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Message

Please allow rescue of animals in imminent danger from being left unattended in hot cars

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for HB 4092, which would establish guidelines to allow a rescuer to break into a vehicle to rescue the animal, while receiving immunity from criminal prosecution.

Every summer, pet owners leave cats and dogs in hot cars, endangering their companions and risking their lives as temperatures rise to dangerous levels. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, parked cars easily trap the sun's heat. Even if windows are left open, the temperature inside a car can rise up to 114 degrees in just ten minutes. Dogs and cats in these situations are left vulnerable to heatstroke or death.

Under the legislation's guidelines, certain conditions must be met in order for the individual rescuer to receive immunity from criminal prosecution:

*The car must be locked;

* The rescuer must have a good faith belief that the animal inside the car is in imminent danger;

* The rescuer must contact law enforcement authorities as soon as possible;

* The rescuer must place a notice on the car telling the owner where they can find the animal:

* The rescuer must remain with the animal until a responder arrives; and

* The rescuer may not use any more force than necessary when breaking into and entering the vehicle.

This bill would give individuals more protection in their attempts to rescue vulnerable animals from being trapped in cars in extreme heat by granting them immunity from criminal charges for breaking into another's vehicle.

I hope that you will give your full support to the passage HB 4092, which will help save the lives of vulnerable animals.

Thank you for your consideration.

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