TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Senator Vin Gopal providing immunity from criminal and civil liability for someone who breaks and enters a vehicle to rescue an animal under inhumane conditions was approved by the full Senate today.
“The heroism displayed by those that recognize an animal in distress inside a dangerously hot unattended vehicle and take act to bring the animal to safety should not be punished for their compassionate deed” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/ Gloucester). “This protection will make more people act. It is imperative for people to intervene without having to fear legal consequences.”
The bill, S-1860, grants protection to those that act in good faith and rescue an animal reasonably believed to have been left unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions, with the animals wellbeing apparently at risk. Those springing into action would be required first to report the circumstances of the rescue and make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the vehicle before they break in and rescue the animal.
“Neglectful pet owners should be the only ones at risk of any liability when these situations occur,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Those bold enough to take action and save the lives of animals suffering in these conditions deserve to have the immunity provided by this bill.”
The bill cleared the Senate by vote of 37-0.