The governor of Massachusetts signed a bill this past week that will help to save the lives of the state's animals.
Governor Charlie Baker appeared in front of some his constituents. These constituents were of both the human and canine variety. The event? A bill signing. And not just any bill--a bipartisan one! You might (rightly) wonder: Republicans and Democrats came together to agree on something? What in God's name could inspire such a magnanimous and unicorn-rare event? The answer: dogs locked in overheating cars.
The bill, Bill 2369, otherwise known as An Act Preventing Animal Suffering and Death, is a bipartisan wonder. The unanimous support for the bill expedited its journey through the Massachusetts legislature and to the governor's desk. He, realizing how rare this type of the thing is, hastily gathered a press conference to sign the bill into law. An Act Preventing Animal Suffering and Death allows passers-by to break into locked cars via the window to liberate animals that are visibly suffering due to lack of oxygen and fresh air. And no, you can't just walk around Massachusetts breaking into cars willy-nilly, now. There are rules and expectations that come along with this new life-saving ability. The passer-by in question must first attempt to find the owner and have proof that they made "reasonable efforts" to do so.
Can't find the cruel owner of the pup in question? Then it's time to go all smashy-smashy! The bill also opens up the possibility to fine the pet owner for taking the lives of their pets for granted. (Nothing wrong with that!) Once upon a time I did not own pets. This all changed when I inherited/adopted an adorable 3-year-old tiger cat a little over five weeks ago. Now that I own my pet - a rather independent type of pet, at that - I cannot fathom how anyone could be so careless with the lives that depend on them.
If you leave a pet in a locked and sweltering car, you deserve to have that car smashed open. You deserve to pay the $500 fee. You deserve to be mocked and derided by the general public. Don't be a jerk. Don't be dumb. Take care of the animals that depend on you. Also, congratulations to Massachusetts' republicans and democrats. How about you keep that magic going and pass some legislation that will help humans, too?
H/T: CBS, Twitter