MFOA bill Protecting Animals in Unattended Vehicles Passes!

Great news! LD 850, “An Act To Improve the Protection of Animals,” has passed as amended by the legislature and signed by the Governor.  Just in time for summer!  This bill offers better protection for animals in distress left in enclosed vehicles  - especially important this time of year.

Now, in addition to animal control officers, police officers and humane agents, other “peace officers” such as first responders, fire fighters and licensed security guards, will also be able to remove a distressed animal from a motor vehicle. This is an important step forward as often animal control officers cover more than one town or only work part time, resulting in delayed response time that can be deadly for a dog (or any animal) locked in a hot vehicle.

L.D. 850 originally included language to move “vending licensing” (aimed at backyard breeders) from the Animal Welfare Program to the municipalities, to increase the penalties for vendor licensing non-compliance (aimed at backyard breeders), and more specific language regarding dogs in open vehicles (particularly in the back of pick-up trucks), but those sections were not accepted by the Committee. However, this important part of the bill which increases the ability to rescue animals under duress in unattended vehicles did pass. 
A study by the Animal Protection Institute showed that even moderately warm temperatures outside can quickly lead to deadly temperatures inside a closed vehicle.  

The passage of LD 850 provides more options to help an animal that may be in a life/death situation on a hot summer day. Make a copy of the new law and keep it in your glovebox to show a first responder or animal owner when needed. 
Our appreciation to Sen. Stan Gerzofsky of Brunswick for sponsoring this bill.  A special appreciation to Sen. Elizabeth Schneider of Orono, an Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation Committee member, who spoke up in strong support of the amended bill. MFOA thanks these two Senators for their efforts on behalf of Maine’s companion animals.  

Help us to continue to stand up for animals that cannot speak for themselves.
It costs money to educate the legislators, public and media, as it does to advocate and lobby. Please donate today. Our success in passing successful legislation is in large part due to having the funding to get the message out. Please help with a donation, large or small. 

April 2011


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