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The Indiana House has approved a measure that would allow citizens to use reasonable force to enter a vehicle if it is believed that a domestic animal inside the vehicle is in imminent danger. 

All who reside or participate in events in Indiana and wish to comment on this bill are encouraged to respectfully contact the bill sponsor and Senate Civil Law Committee.

Under House Bill 1085, a person would be immune from civil liability for property damage or injury that results from their forced entry if ALL of the following apply:

  • The person has a good faith belief that a person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm unless they are removed from the vehicle;
  • The vehicle was locked and forced entry was necessary;
  • The person dialed 911 or contacted law enforcement, emergency medical services or animal control before they entered the vehicle and the person remained with the person or animal until they arrive;
  • The person used no more force than was necessary; and

It is unclear if there is recourse for the owner of the vehicle or animal for damage incurred when the person or animal in the car was not in danger, and the AKC is requesting amendments to protect dog owners in these situations, and also from liability should the dog for example bite the person removing the animal from the vehicle.

Those who wish to comment on this bill may do the following:

  • Contact the Senate Civil Law Committee.  Visit the committee web page and click on the individual committee member names to access their e-mail forms.
  • Contact Senate Sponsor Brandt Hershman and respectfully request amendments

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor this legislation and provide further updates as they become available.  For more information, contact