House Bill 2732: Saving Pets from Hot Cars
Oregon Governor Kate Brown celebrated the passage of an important new law protecting pets and children during a special signing ceremony yesterday, attended by Oregon Humane Society President Sharon Harmon and OHS Investigations and Rescue team members Emily Davidsohn and John Hopkinson.
The law, HB 2732, protects members of the public from damages if they break into a locked car to save the life of a pet or a child. The law immediately led to the rescue of one dog in downtown Portland the day after it was enacted earlier this summer. OHS was one of the major organizations that backed the bill during the last Oregon legislative session.
During the ceremonial signing on November 7, 2017, at the Oregon State Capitol, Brown praised the law as an important step forward that would help save children and pets left alone in vehicles. Although law enforcement officers are already shielded from damages when breaking into a car to save the life of an endangered child or pet, the new law marks the first time that those protections have been extended to members of the public.
Before someone breaks a vehicle window to save a pet or child at imminent risk, they must first make an effort to locate the owner of the vehicle and, if unsuccessful, call 911 to report the emergency and request help. Additionally, rescuers must stay with the animal until first responders arrive or the owner of the car returns.
The Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington initiated the bill with chief sponsor Rep. Brian Clem (D-District 21). It was supported by OHS and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. James Manning (D-Eugene).
Learn more about the new Oregon law and how quickly a car’s temperature can rise to a dangerous level.
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