Last week we talked about the problem of animals dying in hot cars every summer, and the law in New York that makes this a crime.
Although our statute, Agriculture & Markets Law 353-d, is not perfect, in our opinion, it is certainly better than nothing!
We have discovered that only 21 states out of 50 have any legislation criminalizing the act of leaving animals in danger in unattended cars.
So it should not be surprising that in New York, like most other states, private citizens are not authorized by these statutes to break into a car to rescue a dog, (or a child for that matter.)
Such a break-in would be considered a criminal act, (although pity the local District Attorney who tries to prosecute such an act!)
Times are changing, though and the states of Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin do have recent “Good Samaritan” provisions in their hot car statutes.
They protect a private citizen who recuses an animal by breaking into a car as long as that person is acting in good faith.
They generally require that the private citizen contact the police or a local humane organization first and that they observe clear evidence of the animal in distress.
Even better news, a bill is pending in the New York State Assembly, Bill No. A07715A, which extends similar Good Samaritan protection to New York animal lovers.
As of May 25, the bill had been referred to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
There is no one from Oswego County on that committee, but the chair is William Magee from Oneida County.
Our local Assembly representatives for different portions of the county are Will Barclay and Bob Oakes.
You can find their contact information on the New York State Assembly website at www.nyassembly.gov/mem/
This is important legislation, please contact your representative and the Agriculture Committee to encourage its careful consideration and passage. Your voice as an animal lover is important!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.