Bill working through House aims at protecting animals, children in hot cars

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Right now in the state of Alabama, there are no laws protecting animals left in hot cars, or the people who take measures to protect them. A new bill moving through a house committee may change that.

 

House Bill 524 grants a person immunity from liability of property damage if he or she rescues another person or domestic animal from an unoccupied vehicle. That is, if they believe the person or animal is in imminent danger.

"It's just really sad to think about a beloved pet, or child of course, suffocating in the heat of a car," said Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services.

The House Judiciary Committee received the bill in April; it's still moving through the legislature.

"I think it's a really solid and good bill, and great for animal welfare for our state," Dr. Sheppard said.

It's important to know what to do if you see an animal or a child inside a car this time of year.

"It's just the car can be a death trap," Dr. Sheppard said.

Sadly, breaking into a car to try and help an animal or person could land you in hot water. Instead, law enforcement encourages you to make a phone call.

"We will go into the store and have them call and find the owner because it's just in the spring, summer and fall when the weather's hotter, we just discourage it completely," Dr. Sheppard said.