Assembly Bill 797, a proposed amendment to Section 597.7 of the state Penal Code relating to trespass, would extend the privilege of smashing car windows, if necessary in order to rescue dogs abandoned in hot cars, to good samaritans.
In what KPIX 5 says everyone in Sacramento is calling the "Hot Dog Bill" — it's really called the "Right to Rescue Act" — the amendment would take a responsibility previously reserved for peace officers, humane officers, or animal control officers, and extend it to firefighters, too. Then, perhaps more controversially, it would remove "any civil liability on the part of... a person, including a peace officer, fire fighter, humane officer, animal control officer, or other emergency responder, for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle" provided that that trespass is performed after a number of measures including determining that the doors are locked and attempting to contact law enforcement or other assistance.
Ling Ling Chang, a Republican from the 55th District, is an assemblymember co-sponsoring the legislation. To make the case for it, she and others in support of the bill locked themselves in a car without air-conditioning.
"We need to highlight the point that we are cooling down by sweating and dogs can’t sweat. A dog would be dead by now,” Chang told KPIX 5. ABC 7 LA has it that she and others even made a video of the experiment, which lasted 21 minutes.
The bill is to be introduced today during a humane society meeting.