More on this petition:
Pets across the state of Florida and nationwide die every year from heatstroke after being confined in an unattended vehicle. Many of these deaths go unreported. It's a cruel, senseless, way for any living being to die. In a state where the average high in the summer is 92 degrees, pets left in vehicles can begin to suffer hyperthermia, or heatstroke, in just minutes. Cracking windows or parking under shade helps little, if at all. On a 90 degree day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can reach, and even exceed, 109 degrees in just 10 minutes! Animals can sustain brain damage and, in severe cases, they can die (and countless have). In Florida, there are no laws that make it illegal to leave animals alone in locked vehicles. Additionally, if a bystander sees an animal confined in a car, in distress, and they make the brave choice to take action to rescue that creature, they have no protection, even under Good Samaritan laws, from civil liability. The owner of the animal or vehicle may press charges against this individual and seek reparation for damages. Although 16 other states have laws in the books which prohibit people from leaving a pet in an unattended vehicle, Tennessee is the first and only state to provide immunity from civil liability to any individual who breaks-in to a vehicle to rescue one. Florida has NO laws protecting animals who are left to suffer and, sometimes, die in parked cars and NO laws to protect Good Samaritans who choose to rescue them. Let's follow in Tennessee's footsteps and become one of the leaders in the nation advocating for pet safety. Ask Florida Senators to introduce a bill that not only makes it a crime to leave a pet confined in an unattended vehicle but that would also provide protection to citizens who would save an animal in these conditions. No animal should be left to suffer or die in a hot car and no person should have to be forced to choose between legal consequences and saving the life of a helpless animal.