Did you know that it takes only 30 minutes for the inside of a car on a seemingly “cool” day to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit? On a 75 degree day, it only takes 10 minutes. In the time it takes you to stand in line for an iced coffee, your dog could die.
Over the past few years, thousands of people have been raising awareness about this issue, and yet, hundreds of dogs still die every year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Even pets left in air conditioned cars have died due to air conditioner failure. It made national news when a police K-9 died when the car air conditioner stopped working.
Lawmakers in Michigan feel that awareness isn’t enough. It’s not doing enough to protect the furry members of our family. As a result, they’re proposing legislation that will make leaving pets in hot cars a felony.
This may seem like an extreme measure, but to these politicians, allowing a pet to die from heatstroke or suffer other severe health consequences is tantamount to animal cruelty.
Senator Rick Jones told Fox 17 News:
Everyone should know because it’s been widely broadcast that children have died in cars, pets are the same way.
The felony is not automatic. It only applies to situations where the dog dies, but Senator Jones and fellow senator, Curtis Hertel, hope the possibility of a felony charge will deter people. Plus, there are still punishments for leaving a dog in a hot car. If a dog is in distress in a hot car, offenders could face a $350 fine and misdemeanor charge. If the pup suffers severe injuries to do high temperatures, then that ups the fine to $1,000, as well as a misdemeanor.
This legislation is in the form of two bills – Senate Bills 0930 and 0931. Lawmakers will discuss this legislation later this month. We will update this story when more information becomes available on the status of the bills.