New bill aims to reduce hot-car deaths

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Aurra, a 2-year-old Shih-Tzu, was seized by Phoenix police after being left in a hot car. (Source: Arizona Humane Society) Aurra, a 2-year-old Shih-Tzu, was seized by Phoenix police after being left in a hot car. (Source: Arizona Humane Society)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Humane Society says "It’s a great day for pets!"

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill that aims to end hot-car deaths. The measure allows Good Samaritans to take action without risk of civil liability if they rescue a child or a pet from a hot car.

HB2494 moves to a final vote the house before Governor Ducey’s signature, just as temperatures swell into the dangerous range for anyone – pet or child – to be left behind in a car.

Details of HB 2494 HERE.

The bill is sponsored by Senator John Kavanaugh, a longtime animal welfare advocate, who drafted the legislation with the support of the Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona. That group that includes the Animal Defense League of Arizona, the Arizona Humane Society, Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Humane Voters of Arizona. The Humane Society of the United States and local advocates are also in support of the legislation.

“Every year, local police and our Emergency Animal Medical Technicians respond to dozens of calls of children and pets left in hot cars,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, CEO of the Arizona Humane Society. “This law allows us to be able to direct the caller to take action, immediately, without exposing the Good Samaritan to liability for breaking a window and potentially saving a life.”

Calls about children and animals in distress begin long before Arizona’s blazing summer weather sets in. In fact, exactly one year ago, a two-year-old Shih-Tzu was seized by Phoenix police after being left in a hot car.

Although it was only April, the day’s temperature had reached 97 degrees and when Aurra arrived at AHS’ Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™, she was dehydrated, dirty and panicked.

Aurra was so shaken from her ordeal that it took weeks of one-on-one training with AHS’ behavior team to help her learn to trust again. Fortunately, she didn’t have any lasting physical effects from her ordeal and was adopted into a loving family who promises to never leave her in a car again.

[RELATED: 'Don't Leave Me Behind!' campaign warns of hot car dangers

[RELATED: Valley man on a mission to end hot car deaths]

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