State lawmakers are pushing for a law to grant immunity to first responders who rescue animals trapped in cars, especially during the hot summer months. Known as the Hot Dogs in Car Bill, the legislation would also add a criminal offense for leaving an animal in a vehicle.
Co-sponsor of the act State Rep. Frank Farry of the 142nd district understands people do not often intentionally harm their pets, but they still need to be aware of the harm being in a hot car can do to an animal.
“Sometimes it’s done through ignorance, when a pet owner will leave their pet in a car, not realizing how hot it gets, and sometimes unfortunately they die from it,” Farry said. “The bill is hopefully going to be voted in this week and the Governor is already committed to signing it.”
The legislator representing Langhorne and Lower Southampton was named the 2017 Humane Legislator of the Year for sponsoring and advocating for legislation to protect animals from abuse and Humane Society Officers from frivolous lawsuits so funding can go to animal protection instead of court costs.
Farry has been known to his civic-minded pup, Bulmers, to Harrisburg and is credited with writing key parts of Libre’s Law in 2017. The act followed the abuse of Boston Terrier dog found at an Amish breeding facility in Lancaster County.
“It was probably the most comprehensive rewrite of animal cruelty statutes in the whole nation,” Farry said of the law on its first anniversary in June of this year.
The Hot Dogs in Cars bill represents another step towards preventing animal abuse in Pennsylvania. The Animal Legal Defense Fund states 29 states have laws protecting animals from being trapped in vehicles, and Pennsylvania may soon join that list.