It’s Legal to Rescue Dogs in Florida!

If you live in Florida and see a pet locked in a sweltering car, its now legal to break into the car to make a rescue!

The law, House bill 131 was signed into law by Republican Governor Rick Scott, makes it legal to rescue people or animals “in imminent danger of suffering harm.” In Florida heat, that could happen in mere minutes.

You must make sure the door is locked and you must call law enforcement or 911 immediately and wait with the person or pet until law enforcement officials arrive. Unfortunately, the law only pertains to domestic animals listed on the bill as dogs, cats, or other animals that are domesticated and kept as household pets. This means the law does not allow for the rescue of livestock or other farm animals.

Anyone attempting a break-in to rescue a domesticated animal will be immune from civil liability for the damage to the motor vehicle.

Make sure to leave animals at home when you are running errands. Children, vulnerable adults, and animals should never be left in locked vehicles! Temperatures rise very quickly in locked vehicles, even with the windows down and even in the shade!


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  1. Ernest Thurston says:

    I know I’m going to catch a lot of heat for this comment but I have to make it. I am a survivor. I have a dog. I’ve had dogs all of my life. I have lived in the desert southwest, the interior of Alaska, and Alabama. I have lived in small camping tents and air conditioned homes with my dogs, and I have slept in my car/truck while traveling both night and day. I used to own a courier business where I worked from 6 AM to 7 PM daily all year long. During the lunch hours was my slack time to take a break. I usually took a nap. This was during the heat of the day. I would park in a shady area put down my sun visors, roll my windows half way down and go to sleep. I did not turn on the A/C (too expensive and pollutes). Since I am here writing I guess that means that I survived that overheated vehicle. I agree that leaving a child or a pet in a locked car with the windows up is just plain nuts, but so are the people that walk by a car and see a dog laying in the seat and automatically think the dog is abused and will die I HAVE TO BREAK THE WINDOW TO SAVE HIM! . Police dog handlers leave their dogs in the car all the time ( I dare you to bust out their window for a rescue). Dog catchers transport dogs in closed kennels. Hunters transport their dogs in cages in the back of a pick up truck with a cap. These dogs are not dying or being abused. Part of the problem is our American custom of not allowing dogs into buildings. Originally it was only eateries and grocery stores but it expanded to everywhere. In Europe people take their dogs everywhere. And I mean everywhere even hospitals, churches and cafes. I can’t understand why I can take my dog into Petsmart but not Home Depot. If we are going to treat our dogs like humans and give them rights like humans why can’t they go where I go? This a law that needs to be changed!
    Now when it comes to leaving a child in a car seat in a car. That really is nuts I don’t care if it’s cold, hot or just nice outside. Why would you leave your child in the car? That’s just plain laziness and stupidity on the part of the parent. Part of the problem is the car seat itself and the mentality that babies need to be in them all the time. In the good ole days people used to actually carry their babies in their arms because they loved them and wanted to bond with them. Now people put them in a car seat before they leave the house, buckle them into the car, and then everywhere they go they carry the baby in the car seat like it’s a piece of luggage. It’s no wonder you hear all of these stories about parents forgetting their babies were in the car and left them there all day. Why not? They are just another package you sling in the back seat and forget! They aren’t babies anymore. They are just something in a car seat. I wonder what would happen if we made people put their cell phones in the car seat, that would probably save a lot of lives.
    Don’t get me wrong. I love my dog. I love children. But I hate laws that give people the right to do crazy things.

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