The Oregon Senate passed a bill Wednesday that exempts people from criminal or civil liability if they break into a car to rescue a pet or a child.
Sen. Peter Courtney, a Salem Democrat, said the bill came about with help of a Girl Scout troop from Southwest Oregon. He said this year alone, there have been a number of incidences where children or dogs have been left in overheated cars.
“It’s a real threat, this is not something that only can happen in Phoenix, Arizona, or in the southwest in the summer months,” Courtney said. “It can happen in the state of Oregon with temperatures as low as 72 degrees.”
The bill allows the use of reasonable force to enter a vehicle. Anyone who does break into a car is required to remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives.
This bill is now on its way to Gov. Kate’ Brown’s desk for signing.
In 2015, the legislature passed a rule that allowed law enforcement to enter a car to rescue domestic animals.