Cook’s bill protecting those who rescue pets left in hot cars is signed into law

Posted by: Devan Strebing & Shelby Seay  | Friday, April 28, 2017

STATEHOUSE (April 28, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Wednesday State Rep. Tony Cook’s (R-Cicero) legislation providing partial immunity to individuals who rescue pets trapped inside hot cars.

According to Cook, this law will provide partial immunity from civil liability for property damage that may result from forcible entry into a vehicle. 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.

Before removing an animal from an unattended car, the person would be required to notify law enforcement and can only use a reasonable amount of force to rescue the pet. Those individuals are also responsible for waiting with the animal until an officer arrives on the scene. If these steps are not taken, the person could be responsible for the entire cost of repairing the motor vehicle damage caused by their forcible entry.

“Indiana is only 1 of 27 states that does not have any law protecting citizens who rescue these animals,” Cook said. “We can help prevent many needless injuries and deaths of domestic pets with this law.”

Indiana will become the 26th state to address this issue with legislation.

House Enrolled Act 1085 will go into effect on July 1. Visit to learn more about this legislation.


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.