RALEIGH, N.C. — The state House gave tentative approval Wednesday to a provision that would allow emergency responders to break into a hot car to rescue an animal, according to WRAL.
The proposal was an amendment by Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, an agency bill clarifying the state’s animal welfare and sheltering laws, according to the report.
Harrison said state law doesn’t clearly allow or disallow first responders or emergency personnel from breaking into a vehicle to rescue an animal in distress.
Some localities have passed ordinances to that effect, but she said responders in other places aren’t sure what legal authority they have in such a situation.
The amendment clarifies existing law to say that law enforcement officers, firefighters or rescue squad workers, as well as animal control officers, can enter a vehicle “by any reasonable means under the circumstances” if the responder “has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions.”
Responders are required to first make “a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.”
The provision does not apply to “horses, cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, or other livestock.”
Read More: WRAL