Some good news to report from Lansing – two pieces of legislation would make it less likely that animals would suffer because of negligent owners.
First, SB 496 was introduced in the Senate with bipartisan sponsorship last year and was recently approved by unanimous vote in committee. It would make it a crime to “leave or confine an animal in an unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal, including, but not limited to, heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death of the animal.” This legislation is needed because there are too many owners out there who do not understand the danger of leaving their pets in the car, and too often, tragedy occurs as a result. If people know it’s a crime, lives will be saved.
Also, HB 6298 was recently introduced in the House. This bill would allow someone to break a car window in order to save an animal if “the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.” It also provides for other reasonable measures to notify the owner of the vehicle and emergency responders. It’s already legal to break a window to save a baby, so it only makes sense to extend this to animals. Follow this link for a news article on this bill.
By the Meisner Law Group Legal Beagles, Joyleih and Sofia