Cook: Gov. Holcomb signs law helping animals trapped in hot vehicles

Posted by: Devan Strebing  | Friday, May 26, 2017

STATEHOUSE (May 26, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb ceremonially signed a law authored by State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) providing some protections for people who rescue animals from hot cars.

Cook said when animals are left unattended in hot vehicles, the interior temperature can reach up to 116 degrees within an hour on a 72 degree day. Citizens should alert the police if they see an animal in distress; however, public safety officers cannot always immediately respond. This new law will provide some protections to those who use force to get in the car to save the pet.

“There are about 13,600 community animal shelters and control agencies nationwide and they receive at least one to two calls per day reporting pets left in hot cars. This can amount to 13,600 to 27,200 pets being neglected in unattended cars every day,” Cook said. “If the correct steps are taken, we can save these defenseless animals from injury and even death.”

After first notifying law enforcement, the person should only use a reasonable amount of force to remove the animal. Those individuals would also be responsible for waiting with the pet until an officer arrives on the scene. The person will be required to pay up to 50 percent of the cost of the damage, unless the vehicle owner opts to waive those costs.

Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this new law.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

A high-resolution photo of Cook can be downloaded by clicking here.

Attached and below: Gov. Eric Holcomb (seated, center) at the Statehouse signs into law a measure authored by State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) (seated, left) that provides some protections for people who rescue animals from hot cars. Representatives from ASPCA and the Indiana office of the Humane Society of the United States joined this ceremonial signing. Cook is pictured with his dog, Franz, and First Lady Janet Holcomb is pictured with her dog, Henry.