Bill to protect animals, children locked in vehicles passes committee | MyWindsorNow.com

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Bill to protect animals, children locked in vehicles passes committee

Sen. Vicki Marble's bill to grant immunity to people who perform an emergency rescue for an animal or a person in a locked vehicle unanimously passed the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee Wednesday.

House Bill 1179, sponsored by the Fort Collins Republican, would provide immunity from criminal or civil liability to a person who chooses to forcibly enter a locked vehicle in an emergency situation to assist an animal or person who is at risk within the vehicle, according to a news release from the Colorado Senate Republicans.

The bill must next go to a vote of the full Senate.

The release cites a recent study that found about 37 children die in heat-related deaths per year from being trapped in a car. The number is even higher for pets trapped in a vehicle, the release stated.

“The bill encourages witnesses of those situations to take action without the threat of criminal charges or civil liability.”

The bill encourages witnesses of those situations to take action without the threat of criminal charges or civil liability, according to the release.

"This bill is a matter of life and death," Marble said in the release. "We're telling people that as a last resort they can and should act, and we're giving the good Samaritans of our community the ability to take action in an emergency situation without fear of unfair consequences. The bill has great support from many organizations, including EMS and the Humane Society, and I hope that its success will continue in the interest of making our state safer and smarter in these dire situations that threaten the lives of many animals and children."