Great news for the animals! Our voices were heard!
HB 1216 (Animals in Distress) unanimously passed both the Senate and House, and then was signed by Governor Wolf on October 24th, 2018. Dubbed “the hot car bill,” the bill allows public safety professionals to remove unattended pets from hot vehicles without incurring liability for damages.
Many people worked long and hard to get this bill passed. The many calls, emails, and legislative office visits to advocate for this legislation really worked.
We also have to thank all the Pennsylvania lawmakers for supporting the bill.
We have been working for a few years to pass this legislation. It was a long road worth the time and effort. Thanks for your persistence to help keep pets safe in PA!
The text of the bill is set forth below.
42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 8340.3. Rescue from motor vehicle.
(b) Rescue of dog or cat.–No law enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, or the employer of a law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, shall be liable for damage to a motor vehicle or the contents thereof caused by entry into the motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a dog or cat, if the law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder DOES ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
(1) Has a good-faith, reasonable belief that the dog or cat is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.
(2) Makes a reasonable effort to locate the driver of the motor vehicle prior to entry.
(3) Takes reasonable steps to ensure or restore the well-being of the dog or cat.
(4) Uses no more force than necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle.
(5) Leaves notice on or in the motor vehicle stating the reason entry was made, the name of the person and of the person’s employer, a telephone number and, if possible, the location where the dog or cat may be retrieved.
(c) Limitation.–A person shall not be immune from civil liability for damage resulting from the entry if the person’s actions constitute gross negligence, recklessness or willful or
(This act shall take effect in sixty days, i.e., December 23, 2018.)