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The American Kennel Club cares deeply about the welfare of all dogs and supports the ability of law enforcement or public safety officers to remove dogs from vehicles when they are in distress due to heat or other environmental conditions that present an immediate danger to the dog.

However, a number of bills were introduced in the Virginia General Assembly this year would have allowed private citizens to break into vehicles if they felt a companion animal was at risk, and would have exempted them from liability for damages due to loss of the animal or any injury caused by the animal.  There also would have been no recourse for owners if the animal was not in danger, if the animal was lost or disappeared after being released from the vehicle, or for damage to the vehicle or other personal property.

AKC is pleased to report that problematic House Bills 38, 1155 and 1323 have been tabled for the year.  Senate Bill 9 has been amended in a reasonable manner to exempt only law enforcement, firefighters, emergency services personnel and animal control officers from liability for property damage to vehicles or injury to an animal if the unattended animal is removed from a vehicle because of risk of serious bodily injury or death.  The bill no longer allows private citizens to remove animals from vehicles.

AKC thanks the many dog owners, fanciers, breeders, and exhibitors who took the time to contact the committees about these bills.  We also thank the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders for their excellent work in communicating concerns to the legislators on these bills.

AKC is pleased to report that problematic House Bills 38, 1155 and 1323 have been tabled for the year. Senate Bill 9 has been amended in a reasonable manner to exempt only law enforcement, firefighters, emergency services personnel and animal control officers from liability for property damage to vehicles or injury to an animal if the unattended animal is removed from a vehicle because of risk of serious bodily injury or death. The bill no longer allows private citizens to remove animals from vehicles.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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