Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 4/3/17: Good Samaritan Laws and Pets

Currently six states have ‘Good Samaritan hot car laws’, which protect people from liability for breaking into a locked car to rescue a pet that was left unattended. Typically these laws require a good faith belief that the animal was in danger, an attempt to locate the vehicle’s owner, notification of law enforcement or emergency services, and the use of no more force than is necessary to enter the vehicle. As of November 2016 MA is one of these states, as Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 174f grants civil and criminal immunity for entering a motor vehicle to remove an animal if certain requirements are met, such as making reasonable efforts to locate the vehicle owner and notifying law enforcement.

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