Dorothy Hukill files Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act
State Sen. Dorothy Hukill


Republican state Sen. Dorothy L. Hukill of Port Orange has filed Senate Bill 200 the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act, “P.A.W.S. Act” to provide consequences for individuals who leave their animals in motor vehicles without regard for the animals’ well-being or safety.

The bill would allow for authorized individuals to be able to gain access and remove the animal from the motor vehicle if the animal’s health is endangered and the animals’ owner cannot be located. The authorized individual would not be held criminally or civilly liable for the actions they took to rescue the endangered animal.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association website, “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20° F in just 10 minutes.” It also states that, “Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.”[1]

There are accounts of people leaving their pets in hot cars in the news almost every day. Just last week two women in the Daytona area left their dogs in the car while they went shopping at a mall. The dogs were so thirsty they were licking the condensation off a soda can in the car and when let out of the vehicle by police they found the closest puddle of water and began drinking it. The women had left the dogs in the vehicle for at least an hour in 95°F weather.

Animals left in vehicles on hot days or without proper ventilation can easily suffer heatstroke and even death.
“Pets are extremely vulnerable to heat-related injury or death if left in a vehicle, especially on a hot day,” Hukill said. “Individuals who risk their pets’ lives by leaving them in hot cars need to be held accountable.”

Staff Reports


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