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Good News for Fido! Raleigh Lawyers Applaud NC House’s Passing of Additional Protective Measures for Animals Left in Vehicles Under Dangerous Conditions

Howard Kurtz - 9/2/2013
Industry News

The state House of North Carolina has recently passed legislation that would allow rescue workers to save dogs and other animals from dangerously hot cars. This takes the bill closer to becoming law as it awaits approval from the Senate and the signature of Governor Pat McCrory.

This bill would allow animal control officers, firefighters, and other rescue officers to save an animal from within a vehicle “by any reasonable means” when they suspect any kind of danger to the animal. Normal citizens, on the other hand, are not allowed to do the same, but they could still notify the authorities should they suspect that an animal is in danger.

The bill was passed the same week that a non-profit organization program manager was charged with animal cruelty after leaving Worthy, a golden retriever being trained as a service dog, inside a car with the windows rolled up (sadly, Worthy died the day after the incident due to hyperthermia).

Each year, dozens of children and unknown numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. It can occur even on a mild day. Studies show the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.

Here is how quickly a car can heat up…

  • 99 degrees in 10 minutes

  • 109 degrees in 20 minutes

  • 118 degrees in 40 minutes
  • 123 degrees in 60 minutes


The amendment is receiving praises from animal lovers all over the state. Orange County Department of Animal Services director, Bob Marotto, shares his approval for the legislation, saying that it is a “valuable tool for local animal control agencies” because it gives explicit power to rescue distressed animals. The development couldn't come at a better time, too, considering that Marotto's department receives around 100 calls about animals in vehicles during the warm months.

We think this law just makes sense. Authorities and rescuers should have the right to break into cars if there is a real and imminent threat to an animal. Better safe than sorry when it comes to protecting animals that are unable to protect themselves.

At Kurtz and Blum we are more than just one of the typical Raleigh law firms. We are not just attorneys or lawyers, we are people just like you. We have families and we think of our pets as part of our family and we love pets. (In fact our pets have their own photo album on our Facebook page, check it out.)

Each of our Raleigh lawyers treats our clients like they are family too. Whether it is criminal defense, DWI, family law, personal injury or traffic issues, we can help. If you want to be treated like you’re part of our family, you should call us to discuss your issue.



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