Under the bill, on animal protection, abandoning an animal in a hot car would come with a civil penalty. Violating the proposed law would come with a $150 fine for the first offense.
Under the bill, law enforcement officers, animal control officers and firefighters would be able to enter the car to release the animal if they think an animal is in danger . They would also have immunity from criminal or civil liability for removing the animal.
An average person who isn’t a member of law enforcement, animal control or a fire department would also be able to go into the car and remove the animal, but after following a series of steps, including calling 9-1-1, according to the bill.
The MSPCA-Angell organization, an animal protection group ,which backs the bills, says a car, even with windows cracked open, can heat up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80 degree day.
“Many animal control officers have expressed concern that waiting to remove an animal from a vehicle until the animal is suffering enough to be a violation of the cruelty statute is inhumane, wrong and can still be too late for the animal,”
If the bill clears the Senate, they will need approval from the Massachusetts House and Gov. Charlie Baker before becoming law.
The Senate is scheduled to take up a third animal protection bill, requiring landlords or foreclosing owners to “inspect any property vacated by foreclosure, termination of tenancy, or abandonment within three days for the presence of abandoned animals and immediately notify animal control or police officers if any animals are found,” according to the State House News Service.