Alabama Senate passes bill that would punish those who leave pets in hot cars
A bill passed by the Alabama Senate on Thursday aims to stop Alabama pet owners from leaving their companions in hot cars.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Jimmy Holley (R-Elba) and passed through the legislature’s upper chamber 33-0.
“I’m blessed to have a district with so many people who love their pets, especially their dogs. I was asked to create a bill that paralleled the bill we previously passed that protected people who rescued children from dangerous situations in vehicles,” Holley said in a press release.
Alabama is currently without a law that punishes people for leaving pets unattended in a car.
If enacted, the bill would outlaw “owners from leaving domestic animals in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal.”
The bill would also grant immunity from prosecution to anyone rescuing a pet in danger of being damaged due to enclosure in a car.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says that hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion every year due to being left in parked vehicles.
That group also says that leaving windows cracked provides little to no relief.
A study published in the Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society found that in summer months, the temperature inside a parked car could exceed 125°F within 20 minutes of the owner leaving the vehicle.
In the last few years, the Alabama legislature passed a law similar to Holley’s that aimed to prevent parents from leaving their children alone in parked cars.
The bill will now move to the Alabama House of Representatives for consideration.