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The Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Wednesday, March 18, that would amend the state definition of cruelty to include confining an animal unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in which the temperature would endanger the animal's health or safety.

Senate Bill 22 would also allow law enforcement officers, animal control officers, firefighters, first responders, and animal cruelty investigators to enter motor vehicles in circumstances if there is probable cause that the animal confined in the vehicle is in circumstances that are likely to endanger or cause injury, suffering, or death. A reasonable effort must first be made to locate the owner or person responsible for the animal. If the owner cannot be located, the officer must leave information with their name, title, contact information, and the exact location of the shelter where the animal is taken.

Legal transportation of agricultural animals is exempt.

Delaware residents are encouraged to contact the House Judiciary Committee prior to the hearing on Wednesday, March 18, and ask them to support Senate Bill 22, which protects the safety of dogs, and provides a clear process for law enforcement and first responders to communicate with owners about the dog if it is removed from a vehicle.

Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee Contact Information

The Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Wednesday, March 18, that would amend the state definition of cruelty.

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