STATEHOUSE (April 26, 2019) – State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) received the Humane Legislator Award from the Humane Society of the United States for his work promoting animal safety.
Cook was recognized for authoring a 2017 law providing some protections for people who use force to enter a vehicle to save a distressed pet.
“Many people consider their pets to be best friends, but from time to time may accidently forget them in the car,” Cook said. “Those who see a pet trapped in a hot, unattended car and take action to help the animal should not be punished for doing the right thing. As we move into the warmer months, it will be even more important to ensure pets are safe, and as a rule of thumb, never leave your pet in the car for longer than a few minutes.”
If Hoosiers see an animal in distress, they must first notify the police before entering the vehicle, and only use a reasonable amount of force to get the animal out. Individuals must then wait with the animal until law enforcement arrives.
“Even when the outside temperature is as low as 72 degrees, within an hour the temperature inside a car can reach up to 116 degrees,” Cook said. “Pets exposed to that kind of heat for an extended period of time could have permanent organ damage or even die.”
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization and works to combat the most severe forms of animal cruelty and abuse.
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.
PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) receives the Humane Legislator Award from Erin Huang, Indiana state director for the Humane Society April 16, 2019, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Cook was recognized for authoring a 2017 law providing protections for people who use force to enter a vehicle to save a distressed pet.