Relating to animals; to prohibit any person from leaving a domestic animal in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal; to provide criminal immunity to a person who rescues a domestic animal from an unattended motor vehicle; to provide civil and criminal immunity to a public safety official who rescues an animal from an unattended motor vehicle; to amend Section 13A-11-241, Code of Alabama 1975, to make it a crime to leave a domestic animal in an unattended motor vehicle under certain circumstances; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds.
(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (1) DOMESTIC ANIMAL. A dog, cat, or other vertebrate animal that is kept, or intended to be kept, as a household pet. The term does not include livestock or other farm animals as defined in Section 3-5-1, Code of Alabama 1975. (2) MOTOR VEHICLE. As defined in Section 32-1-1.1, Code of Alabama 1975. (3) PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIAL. An individual employed by a law enforcement agency, fire department, or 911 emergency service. (b) No person shall leave a domestic animal in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal. A vehicle that has an ambient interior temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit or less shall be presumed safe. (c) A person who enters a motor vehicle by force or otherwise at the direction of a public safety official, for the purpose of removing a domestic animal from the vehicle shall be immune from criminal liability for damage to the motor vehicle if the person meets all of the following requirements: (1) Determines the motor vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the animal to exit the motor vehicle without assistance. (2) Has a good faith and reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstances, that entry into the motor vehicle is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm. (3) Contacts a public safety official before entering the motor vehicle, provides information requested by the public safety official, and remains in contact with the public safety official until the animal is in a safe condition. (4) Uses no more force to enter the motor vehicle and remove the animal than is necessary. (5) Remains with the animal in a safe location in reasonable proximity to the motor vehicle until law enforcement or other first responders arrive. (6) Maintains control of the animal at all times to prevent harm to the animal or others. (d) If a person removes a domestic animal from a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (c) and the animal bites or otherwise physically injures another person during the course of the rescue effort, the owner of the domestic animal shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for any injuries sustained by the injured person. (e) The prohibition in subsection (b) does not apply to any dog used primarily for hunting and located in the bed of a truck or a trailer.
(a) A public safety official who has been contacted by a person reporting a domestic animal in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal shall do the following: (1) Dispatch a locksmith or towing company with vehicle lockout capabilities and attempt to make contact with a registered vehicle owner and the vehicle operator. (2) Dispatch the appropriate officer or public safety official available in the jurisdiction who can respond effectively, to include attempting to contact a veterinarian to provide additional direction in responding to the animal's condition. (b) A public safety official, acting reasonably in the course of his or her employment and pursuant to this act, shall be immune from criminal liability and civil liability in accordance with Section 36-1-12, Code of Alabama 1975.
Section 13A-11-241, Code of Alabama 1975, is amended to read as follows: "§13A-11-241. "(a) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree if he or she intentionally tortures any dog or cat or skins a domestic dog or cat or offers for sale or exchange or offers to buy or exchange the fur, hide, or pelt of a domestic dog or cat. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree is a Class C felony. A conviction for a felony pursuant to this section shall not be considered a felony for purposes of the Habitual Felony Offender Act, Sections 13A-5-9 to 13A-5-10.1, inclusive. "(b) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree if he or she, in a cruel manner, overloads, overdrives, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, injuries, mutilates, or causes the same to be done. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. "(c) A person commits the crime of cruelty to an animal in the second degree if any of the following occurs: "(1) He or she has a domestic animal, in his or her care, custody, or control as defined in Section 1 of the act adding this amendatory language, and the animal is left unattended in a motor vehicle in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal. "(2) The animal is deceased as a result of being left unattended in a motor vehicle. "(3) The ambient interior temperature of the motor vehicle is greater than 99 degrees Fahrenheit, the animal's internal temperature exceeds the heat exhaustion threshold for that species by one degree Fahrenheit, and the animal is exhibiting visible signs of heat stroke."
All persons transporting a domestic animal that has been rescued under subsection (c) of Section 13A-11-241, or subdivision (a)(1) of Section 13A-11-243 Code of Alabama 1975, shall prevent the animal from suffering hypothermia or heat exhaustion. If an animal is transported in an exterior box that is not heated or cooled, the vehicle operator shall physically check the animal for signs of hypothermia or heat exhaustion every 30 minutes. If the animal displays signs of hypothermia or heat exhaustion, the person shall transport the animal to a nearby veterinarian.
Although this bill would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds, the bill is excluded from further requirements and application under Amendment 621, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, because the bill defines a new crime or amends the definition of an existing crime.
This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law. Senate Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Governmental Affairs................. 0.4-FEB-20Read for the second time and placed on the calen- dar 1 amendment.................................. 1.1-FEB-20Read for the third time and passed as amended .... 1.3-FEB-20 Yeas 33 Nays Patrick Harris, Secretary.
|March 5, 2020||H||Pending third reading on day 11 Favorable from Judiciary with 1 substitute and 1 amendment|
|March 5, 2020||H||Judiciary first Amendment Offered|
|March 5, 2020||H||Judiciary first Substitute Offered|
|March 5, 2020||H||Read for the second time and placed on the calendar with 1 substitute and 1 amendment|
|February 13, 2020||S||Engrossed|
|February 13, 2020||H||Read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Judiciary|
|February 13, 2020||S||Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 68|
|February 13, 2020||S||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 67|
|February 13, 2020||S||Holley Amendment Offered|
|February 13, 2020||S||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 66|
|February 13, 2020||S||Governmental Affairs Amendment Offered|
|February 13, 2020||S||Third Reading Passed|
|February 11, 2020||S||Read for the second time and placed on the calendar 1 amendment|
|February 4, 2020||S||Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Governmental Affairs|