With warmer weather approaching, this law could really save lives.
If you live in Florida and see a sweltering pooch locked inside a vehicle, you now have the right to physically intervene and rescue pets with no punishment.
Recently, Republican Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 131 into law, allowing Floridians to break into locked automobiles to rescue pets or vulnerable people who are “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”
The bill comes as a direct response to the growing number of incidents where pets and children have died because they have been left in overheated cars.
However, the new law will only protect breaking into a vehicle under strict guidelines. If you’re faced with the situation, here’s what you need to know:
– First, you must check that the vehicle is locked.
– After doing so, call 911 or law enforcement before entering the vehicle or immediately after rescuing the child or pet.
– Finally, use no more force than is necessary to break in — and remain with the person or animal until first-responders arrive.
House Majority Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, ushered the proposal through the Legislature this session with unanimous support.