Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lack of Hot Car Law Leaves Missouri Pets in Danger

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lack of Hot Car Law Leaves Missouri Pets in Danger

Article excerpt

Just a few weeks ago, the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued a dog, Molly, from a hot car near the St. Louis Zoo. By the time investigators removed her from the vehicle, the car temperature had reached more than 130 degrees. Fortunately, the passer-by who noticed Molly knew to alert zoo officials, who immediately called law enforcement and the Animal Cruelty Task Force to the scene.

Video of this rescue was widely shared, igniting conversation around the thoughtless act of leaving animals in parked cars during hot, or even just warm, weather. When outside temperatures are 70 degrees or more, a parked car can heat up an additional 20 to 30, even 40, degrees within minutes, which can be deadly for a trapped pet.

At the Humane Society of Missouri, we wish situations like Molly's were rare, but every summer we receive a significant number of calls to rescue pets from similar plights. The Animal Cruelty Task Force plays an important role in making sure these pets are rescued and cared for as soon as possible. But more is needed to put this issue top of mind for Missourians. It's time to empower citizens to help.

This past January, California put a "Right to Rescue" measure into action. It's a Good Samaritan law that makes it legal for citizens to rescue animals trapped in hot cars, as long as certain conditions are met. First, the citizen must call law enforcement. Then they must make sure the car cannot be opened and determine whether the animal is in imminent danger or suffering harm. If it's necessary to take action before law enforcement arrives, the citizen must use no more force than necessary to get into the car, and remain with the animal until first responders arrive. The law provides a legal framework for bystanders to take action, protecting them from criminal liability for actions taken "reasonably and in good faith."

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, 26 states currently have some form of a "hot car" law prohibiting the endangerment of an animal by leaving it unattended in a vehicle. Of those 26 states, 11 give citizens the right to rescue animals trapped in hot cars. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.