Protecting Companion Animals in Hot Cars (Nevada)
This bill protects Good Samaritans who rescue domestic companion animals from motor vehicles by granting civil immunity under certain circumstances.
May 16, 2023
The Animal Legal Defense Fund supports this bill.
Sponsors: Senate Judiciary Committee
Introduction Date: February 22, 2023
Every year, dogs die when they are left in hot cars. These deaths are entirely avoidable. In only a few minutes, a car can heat up to deadly levels. On a 70-degree day, the temperature inside a car can shoot up to 89 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a warmer day, the temperature can reach 114 degrees in the same amount of time. In response to this problem, multiple states have enacted “dogs in hot cars” laws. Despite its often-hot temperatures, Nevada’s current law only protects certain law enforcement officers and authorized authorities from civil liability for rescuing a companion animal from a hot car — not members of the public. State lawmakers are currently considering a bill, S.B. 190, that would extend immunity from civil liability to members of the public who remove companion animals from motor vehicles in emergency situations.
This bill would:
- protect Good Samaritans who rescue companion animals from motor vehicles in Nevada from civil liability;
- require the rescuer to first confirm that the car is locked and there is no other reasonable way to remove the animal; and
- require the rescuer to report the violation to and cooperate with law enforcement or other listed authority, and remain with the animal as necessary.
Similar legislation has passed in more than a dozen states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Why is this law important? Dogs and other companion animals are particularly vulnerable to dying from heatstroke because they are not able to cool themselves in the same way humans can. These lifesaving laws protect Good Samaritans from liability when they intervene in emergency situations.
For more information about humane legislation in Nevada and opportunities to take action for animals in the state, visit aldf.org/nevada.