‘Hot Dog’ Bill Would Allow Good Samaritans To Rescue Trapped Pets

If HB 810 passes, passersby wouldn’t be held liable for breaking a window to save a dog from a hot car.

By Kristen Cabrera and Sol ChaseFebruary 22, 2019 11:35 am,

As the 2019 legislative session continues, Texas Standard is talking with members about some of the bills they’ve filed, and what they hope their legislation will accomplish.

Celia Israel is a Democrat representing House District 50, in north Austin and Pflugerville. Her bill HB 810 provides legal protection to a person who breaks into a vehicle in order to save the life of an animal trapped inside. It’s been nicknamed the “hot dog” bill.

On what the bill does:

“If one of us breaks a window in order to take care of a very serious situation with a pet that’s in danger of heatstroke, the owner of that car would not be able to sue me for damage to the car.”

On limitations of the bill:

“You can’t just go around breaking windows; it would have to be for unsafe conditions. If it was me doing the breaking of the window, I would have to call the police [and] wait at the car for the police to come.”

On getting support from rural communities:

“We’ve been working with … veterinarians who serve in the agricultural areas to help us with language – perhaps with a letter of support – to reassure my colleagues who are from the more rural areas that we’re not trying to harm anything that comes to their way of life or their way of doing their agricultural business.”

Written by Shelly Brisbin.