Californians can now break into cars to rescue animals in danger from heat exposure

This Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that would allow Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals who are at risk from dangerous heat.

The bill, know as the “Right to Rescue Act,” was introduced after a series of incidents in which dogs died after trapped in cars during hot days.

“We’re very excited about the lives this new law will save,”Assemblyman  Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), one of the bill’s authors, said in a statement Saturday on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support.”

The new law requires citizens to first call law enforcement before they take any action.

From the Los Angeles Times:

But if the animal is in imminent danger, the car is locked, and law enforcement is not arriving quickly enough to save the animal’s life, the bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability to a person causing vehicle damage for the purpose of rescuing the animal.

California isn’t the first to introduce a bill like this. Wisconsin and Tennessee currently have law allowing citizens to rescue animals in similar circumstances.

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