Proposed House Bill to Give North Carolina Rescue Workers the Right to Remove Dogs from Hot Cars

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On July 18, 2013, North Carolina’s House passed a legislation giving rescue workers authority to break car windows and get access to free dogs or any animals trapped inside hot vehicles.

130723-Hot-CarThe legislation is an amendment to the already existing animal shelter bill. It states law enforcement officer, firefighter, animal control officer and other rescue workers can break into cars using “reasonable means,” when they suspect an animal is at risk of dying due to heat, cold, inadequate ventilation or other circumstances.

The amendment is schedule to reach the state Senate in the coming weeks and if it passes, it becomes law once signed by the governor.

This legislation came about after the June 10 incident where Eyes Ears Nose and Paws’ program manager left a service dog-in-training inside a car with the windows rolled up. The golden retriever named Worthy died and police charged the organization’s manager with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, the Greensboro Democrat who sponsored the amendment, said she mentioned the Carrboro case briefly on the House floor, though not the dog by name.

There are already some local ordinances in NC. that allow police officers to break into cars to rescue pets. Yet, if this legislation is passed it will be legal statewide and it will cover all animal rescue workers.

Currently, there are 14 states alone that prohibit leaving an unattended animal in a car. California, Illinois, Minnessota, New York and New Jersey are among the 14 states. Check out the complete list, what the law says and what the penalties are.

We hope that all states follow North Carolina’s example and pass similar laws.


5 thoughts on “Proposed House Bill to Give North Carolina Rescue Workers the Right to Remove Dogs from Hot Cars”

  1. this is wonderful new!! about time… cause if i see a dog dying in the car because some one who is a careless irresponable owner i’d bust out that windown too..

  2. Oklahoma needs to adopt this law. The public should be well informed where they have no excuse for not knowing about it……which wouldn’t get them off the hook anyway. Ignorance is no excuse.
    I am surprised Colorado isn’t on the list. They are a very “pet friendly” state. Maybe the folks there are more educated about the risks of leaving a pet in a car on a hot or freezing day.
    Penalties should be higher for all kinds of abuse of animals in my opinion. Oklahoma has WAY too many instances of horrible types of abuse not only including dogs and cats, but other animas such as horses. Just recently a man dipped 2 ducks in ACID. I think he should be dipped in acid…..but that’s just me.

  3. This should be a nationwide law. A few years ago my husband and I were parking our car in a local strip mall and noticed a car parked next to us that was running and the windows were fogging up, but we could see a small dog laying on the front seat, but not moving. We also noticed a lit cigarette in the ashtray and realized that it was the cause of the fogged windows. We were about to call the police when the owner of the dog came running out of one of the stores, opened the car door, screamed and asked where the nearest veterinarian’s office was. Then, the store owner came running out and told her that help was on the way. When it arrived, oxygen was given to the tiny dog and they took the dog and it’s owner away. We never found out the outcome, good or bad, but this type of thing happens all the time.

  4. I think whoever wrote or posted this is confused. This is clearly about North Carolina and NOT Oklahoma.


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