House Advances Farry Legislation to Protect Pets Left Unattended in Cars
HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today approved legislation, authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), to protect pets left unattended in a hot car.
The Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act (House Bill 1516) would prohibit the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal. This violation would be a summary offense.
“The heat of summer can be dangerous for animals, especially those left inside hot cars. Every year, countless animals die after being left behind while their owners work, visit, shop or run other errands,” said Farry. “These deaths are tragic and entirely preventable.”
On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 99 degrees in just 10 minutes and 114 degrees within 30 minutes. Animals left in these sweltering conditions face irreversible organ damage, heat stroke, brain damage, and, in extreme cases, death.
Under Farry’s bill, a police officer, public safety professional or humane officer would have the authority to remove the dog or cat from the unattended motor vehicle after a reasonable search for the owner or operator if the officer believes it is suffering and endangered. The officer who removes a cat or dog from an unattended vehicle would not be held liable for any damages.
“If an officer removes a dog or cat from an unattended car, the officer would be required to take it to a veterinary hospital or animal care clinic for a health screening and treatment,” Farry said. “The officer who removed the dog or cat must leave a note stating how to contact the officer and where to pick up the pet.”
House Bill 1516
now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Frank Farry
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam