The state Senate passed the dog and cat version of the “Look before You Lock Bill” by a 37-0 vote today.
Known as Senate Bill 53, the legislation would provide civil immunity for damaging a vehicle to a person who enters a vehicle with the reasonable, good faith belief that a dog or cat is in immediate danger of death if not removed from the vehicle.
“The person must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner, or the person responsible for the dog or cat, prior to entering the vehicle,” said sponsor Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah. He said SB 53 would also require the person to believe the animal was in immediate danger if not removed from the vehicle before emergency responders could arrive.
Sen. Robin L. Webb, D-Grayson, thanked Carroll for amending the bill to address her concerns.
“I appreciate the sponsor of the bill addressing some of my concerns in the amendment language,” she said. “I know his intention is very well founded. I hope that it does raise awareness. I don’t think having civil liability would stop me from braking out a window out if I saw an animal in distress but maybe we can keep the conversation afloat and educate even responsible pet owners.”
Carroll said SB 53 was similar to the “Look before You Lock Bill,” or Senate Bill 16, that passed out of the Senate earlier in the session. SB 16 would protect rescuers from being sued for any property damage caused in pursuit of saving the life of a child left locked in a vehicle.