As the temperatures heat up in Alabama, there are likely to be more news stories about dogs being left in hot cars and succumbing to the heat. This is a terrible tragedy. It is also one that many states want to try to prevent through offering freedom from liability to good Samaritans who break into vehicles to rescue pets left to suffer. In Alabama, though, the law is not on the side of the good Samaritan.
According to Michigan State University, Alabama has no good Samaritan laws. In fact, only 28 states do have such laws. These laws allow a person who sees a dog in destress to break into the vehicle to save it without fear of being prosecuted for damaging the vehicle. Some states even criminalize leaving a pet in a hot vehicle.
According to Alabama public radio, there has been a recent attempt to get laws that protect pets in hot cars passed. The bill was proposed to help recognize that leaving a pet in a car in hot weather is abusive to the pet and could lead to death. It hoped to get the state to pass a law allowing anyone who sees a pet in a hot car to have the ability to get the pet out without facing any liability, just as the laws in 28 other states. While legislatures appreciated the effort and looked on the bill favorably, it was introduced late in the session and time ran out on it before anything could be done to get it passed. This information is for education and is not legal advice.