Gov. Ducey 'proud to sign' bill protecting people who rescue kids, pets from hot cars

A new Arizona bill could give a good Samaritan the authority to break in and help out if they see a child or pet in a hot car.

Gov. Ducey said he was "proud to sign" a bill that would protect people forced to break windows to rescue kids or pets from hot cars.

The House approved House Bill 2494 by Republican Sen. John Kavanagh on a 35-20 vote Wednesday. Kavanagh revived it after it failed to get a House committee hearing. The Senate approved it for a second time on a 20-7 vote in April.

RELATED: What to do before breaking into a hot car for a rescue

The so-called "Good Samaritan bill" will eliminate liability for people who break car windows in order to rescue children or pets who have been left in hot cars.

"We believe that one hot car death is one too many," says Bretta Nelson at the Arizona Humane Society.

Nelson and her team don't look forward to the increased number of emergency calls for pets being locked inside cars during Arizona's hot summer months. 

"Sadly we've seen too often that by the time we get there the pet has already passed away," Nelson said.

The Humane Society is one of several agencies who worked hard with Kavanagh to make this happen.

According to the bill, citizens would have to call police first and have a "good faith belief" that the person or pet was in danger.

Gov. Doug Ducey mentioned the proposal in January's state of the state address and said he will sign the bill if it hits his desk.

Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth said the bill is unneeded because of good Samaritan laws already in place and it wrongly raises animals to the level and rights of children.

Ducey tweeted his response to the bill Thursday.

 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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