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Amend Georgia Law to make animal cruelty a felony or aggravated felony and provide civil immunity for Good Samaritans rescuing animals from hot cars.

This petition had 354 supporters


  • Conyer's K-9 "Zane" a beautiful bloodhound was left to die in a hot car by his handler.
  • Columbus area K-9 "Mason" the Retreiver Community Relations dog was left to die in a hot car by his handler (Gulf Shores PD)
  • Warwick GA, K-9 Sasha died after being left in her handler's hot car for an entire weekend while he went on vacation.

We're not singling out Police. Many departments take the proper precautions to make sure their animals are cared for properly and have the type of equipment that can protect their animals.. But,  there are countless other examples of dog owners who carelessly or maliciously left their pets to suffer and die without any recourse. These horrible offenses are treated as nothing more than misdemeanors in our state. Even rescuers are treated as criminals....

In Oconee, good Samaritan Michael Hammons broke a car window to free a dog that was in heat distressed after being left by his owner in a hot car. He was rewarded with a lawsuit for criminal trespass.

It is time to call on Georgia legislators to do their part. Confining an animal in a hot car should be a felony crime, and any person attempting to rescue an animal from imminent harm should be absolved of liability for property damage, provided that no other remedy was available and that the person called 911 before attempting to free the animal. We have already passed this legislation for minor children in the wake of child deaths, and it's a simple matter to protect helpless animals.

Sign this petition calling on Georgia legislators to:

1) Amend o.c.g.a 16-12-4 (c), (e) and (h)(1) to read as follows: 

(c) Any person convicted of the offense of cruelty to animals shall be guilty of a [felony] [ strike: misdemeanor] ; provided, however, that any person who has had a prior adjudication of guilt for the offense of cruelty to animals or aggravated cruelty to animals, or an adjudication of guilt for the commission of an offense under the laws of any other state, territory, possession, or dominion of the United States, or of any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which would constitute the offense of cruelty to animals or aggravated cruelty to animals if committed in this state, including an adjudication of a juvenile for the commission of an act, whether committed in this state or in any other state, territory, possession, or dominion of the United States, or any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of cruelty to animals or aggravated cruelty to animals, upon the second or subsequent conviction of cruelty to animals shall be guilty of a [felony] [strike:misdemeanor] of a high and aggravated nature.


(e) Any person convicted of the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed [$25,000.00] [strike $15,000.00], or both; provided, however, that any person who has had a prior adjudication of guilt for the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals, or an adjudication of guilt for the commission of an offense under the laws of any other state, territory, possession, or dominion of the United States, or of any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which would constitute the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals if committed in this state, including an adjudication of a juvenile for the commission of an act, whether committed in this state or in any other state, territory, possession, or dominion of the United States, or any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals, upon the second or subsequent conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.


(h) (1) In addition to justification and excuse as provided in Article 2 of Chapter 3 of this title, a person shall be justified in injuring or killing an animal when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such act is necessary to defend against an imminent threat of injury or damage to any person, [or] other animal, [strike: or property.]


And to amend O.C.G.A  51-1-29 as follows:

(b) As used in this Code section, the term 'emergency care' shall include, but shall not be limited to, the rescue or attempted rescue of an incapacitated or endangered individual from a locked motor vehicle.

(c) A person whose conduct conforms to the requirements of subsection (b) shall be immune from civil liability for any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor or an animal from the vehicle.

(d) Subsection (c) applies if the person:

(1) Determines the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the minor or animal to exit the vehicle;

(2) Has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the minor or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not  immediately removed from the vehicle and, based upon the circumstances  known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one;

(3) Has contacted either the local law enforcement agency, the fire Department , or a 911 operator prior to forcibly entering the vehicle;

(4) Places a notice on the vehicle’s windshield with the person’s contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the minor or animal, and the fact that the authorities have been notified;

 (5) Remains with the minor or animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until law enforcement, fire, or another emergency responder arrives; and

 (6) Used no more force to enter the vehicle and remove the child or animal from the vehicle than was necessary under the circumstances.

(c) Nothing in this section shall affect the persons civil liability if the person attempts to render aid to the minor or animal in addition to what is authorized by this section.



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J. Kramer needs your help with “Leaving a dog in a hot car is NO Misdemeanor! Make it a FELONY!”. Join J. and 353 supporters today.