Bill lets you smash window to save pet locked in hot car

State Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Longwood, is on his way to passing a bill that would allow law enforcement and the public to do things like smash out a car window to protect the life or safety of a trapped pet. Cortes got his bill through its first committee hearing in Tallahassee.  "Here in Florida we know that a 90 degree temperature can reach 110 in a matter of minutes," said Rep. Cortes. 

The bill would make it OK for a law enforcement officer to smash out a car window without fear of liability for that window if a pet was trapped inside the car. Cortes says this is a common sense bill.  "A BMW window can cost over 1500 dollars to replace. So you can imagine a law enforcement breaking a window to save a pet. Sure that person is going to be charged with animal cruelty, but he can come back and say 'are you going to pay for my window that you broke out'?"

The public at large would also have the same rights as long as they follow the proper procedure according to State Rep Cortes.  "He would as long as he's been authorized by the 911 operator to do so. In other words, they must still follow procedure and call 911 and say 'this dog is in peril'. If law enforcement can't get there quickly, a 911 operator can authorize them to save the pet."

The full session of the Florida Legislature runs from January until March.