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Florida Bill Would Allow Samaritans to Rescue Dogs from Hot Cars

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When it comes to dogs in hot cars, many of us would do whatever it takes to save a life and deal with the consequences later.

Now, Florida lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill that would make it legal for concerned citizens to do whatever it takes to save a dog in distress from inside a hot car.

The bill, of course, wouldn’t grant Floridians the right to go around smashing windows simply because a dog is inside. The citizen must first make a “reasonable effort” to locate an owner and contact authorities who will either arrive on scene or grant the citizen permission to enter the vehicle if the situation is dire.

“Pets are extremely vulnerable to heat-related injury or death if left in a vehicle, especially on a hot day,” Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange who filed the proposal, said in a prepared statement. “Individuals who risk their pets’ lives by leaving them in hot cars need to be held accountable.” Hukill called the proposal the “Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act,” or “P.A.W.S. Act.”

The bill would also protect animals left in the cold, without proper ventilation, and without food or water.

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