Given the temperatures are reaching record highs across the nation, we thought it would be beneficial to remind everyone that Governor Schwarzenegger did indeed sign the bill SB 1806 by Senator Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) that makes a crime for pet owners to carelessly leave animals unattended in vehicles during dangerous conditions, such as hot weather. The bill was passed in 2006 and became a law in 2007.
Here are the details:
“Every year, countless dogs die after being locked in cars while their owners work, shop or run errands,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This bill will prevent animals from suffering unbearable heat and death.
"SB 1806 makes it a crime for a person to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle in a way that endangers the well-being of the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering or death. Unless the animal suffers great bodily injury, a first misdemeanor conviction for this crime is punishable by a fine of $100 or less per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, the punishment is a fine of $500 or less, a sentence of up to six months in county jail, or both. A person convicted of felony animal cruelty is subject to a fine of $20,000 or less, time in state prison, or both"
"Many pet owners are not aware that even moderately warm temperatures outside can quickly lead to deadly temperatures inside a closed car. For example, within one hour an outside temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit can cause conditions inside a vehicle that adversely affects the health, safety, or well-being of an animal. Even with the windows left slightly open, an 85 degree outside temperature can cause a temperature of 102 degrees inside a vehicle in 10 minutes, and can cause 120 degrees in just half an hour. A healthy dog, whose normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees, can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a short time before suffering brain damage or death."
If you live in a state that doesn't have this type of law, you might consider forwarding a copy of this legislation to your legislators and ask them to pass a similar bill where you live. For more information on this legislation visit Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Protect Pets from Overheating in Vehicles
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