Easy Steps You Can Take: The Hot Car Bill/Animals in Distress

From Kristen Tullo, PA State Director, HSUS
The Animals in Distress law (you may recognize as the “Hot Car Bill”), now Act 104 of 2018, authorizes public safety professionals to remove dogs and cats from unattended motor vehicles when the animal is deemed to be in imminent danger by any cause. For example, the law protects pets suffering effects from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), dehydration due to lack of water, and collar or leash entanglement. The Animals in Distress law now gives law enforcement officers, animal control officers, humane police officers, and emergency responders civil immunity from lawsuits if they must break into a vehicle to save a pet. Rescue officials must attempt to find the owner before breaking into a car, and they are required to leave a note explaining the situation and where the seized animal can be retrieved.

With the “dog days of summer” coming soon, the Humane Society of the United States is partnering with the PA AAA Federation and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) to launch a two-pronged educational campaign. Firstly, to inform the general public about rapidly rising temperatures in car interiors during hot weather and the associated risks of terminal dehydration and heat stroke. Secondly, to advise the public about the new policy and tell them what to do if they encounter a pet in trouble.

The 8.5×11 sheet flyer can be easily printed from here and it is a quick reference about the Animals in Distress law – the purpose of it and the need for it. We ask for your assistance in advertising the law by sharing the flyer with your network and members and via social media. Also, please print copies and distribute to public offices, businesses, community centers, etc. in your local area and ask them to display prominently. Grocery stores and shopping center parking lots are common places where people leave their pet locked in the car while they shop.

We need to get the message out that distressed animals require immediate action as they are at risk of lethal conditions such as dehydration, heatstroke, and hypothermia when exposed to extreme temperatures while trapped in cars.  Any witness to an animal in distress should call 911. If possible, the person calling authorities should stay with the vehicle until responders arrive. They can help by writing down the date and time, location, make and model of the vehicle and license plate number, and description of the distressed/endangered animal. If the owner appears before public responders arrive, do not confront; but rather write down the time and a description of the individual. This information will help authorities conduct a follow-up investigation.

The PA State Police Facebook page is another resource for related information. You can share this Facebook link and Tweet with people using social media of Trooper Brent Miller giving instructions on what to do when finding a dog or cat suffering in a locked car.

Passing HB 1216 into law was a great victory for our state’s animals. It happened because of the time and work you put into campaigning for it. It will spare animals and their owners from avoidable undue pain, suffering, and death. As always, thanks for your continued energy to protect the animals of Pennsylvania!

Humanely Yours,

Kristen

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He Wasn’t Much of a Hunter

He closes the door of the red pick-up truck, re-positions his gun over his shoulder, and sets off into the woods.  Despite trying to ease his weight onto the twigs and leaves, toe first then heel, his footfalls snap and crackle and echo through the pre-dawn forest.

A doe lifts her head from foraging, her button-black nose twitching with scent-taking.  With noiseless ease, she lopes off, her white tail high.  A groundhog stands on the crest of his mound-home squinting into the distance, his forepaws tucked up to his heart, his teddy-bear ears angled forward.  He squeaks and retreats inside his burrow.  A flock of quibbling sparrows wheels off into the sky.  Only the cat remains.   She is motionless except for the white tip of her tail.

The hunter walks on, pausing from time to time, looking around, then moving on.  The cat follows, unnoticed, at a distance.

When the sun has climbed well above the horizon, the hunter sits down on a large, sunny rock.  He opens a thermos of steaming coffee, crinkles flat the wax paper covering his sandwich, and munches thoughtfully, his head angled to the side.  Sun-warmed and drowsy, his shoulders relax and he closes his eyes.

The cats comes closer, soundlessly.  She sits a few feet in front of him and looks up.  The hunter opens his eyes and startles, then feels foolish.  He mutters something about cats—he’s never liked cats.  He glares at the cat and looks into her gold eyes.  She holds his gaze evenly.  He sighs, then he breaks off a small piece of cheese from his sandwich and tosses it on the ground.  The cat eats it and looks up expectantly.  The man breaks off a larger piece and holds it out to her.  She gracefully leaps onto the rock, and with one paw on the hunter’s leg, she gingerly takes the cheese from his hand.  The hunter slides his broad palm down her back, then offers her the rest of his sandwich.

After a while, he gathers his things, slings the gun over his shoulder, and sets off.  The cat jumps down and follows.  Twice he looks back over his shoulder.  He opens the truck door and sweeps his arm wide in a welcoming gesture. The cat jumps in, settles herself on the passenger seat, and washes her face.

Two seasons have passed since I found my hunter.  He wasn’t much of a hunter, really—I could read that much in the way he moved.  It was plain to me that he wasn’t really interested in hunting as much as he was playing a role.  It was also plain to me that he thought he didn’t like cats.  Most people who give cats a chance find they like them after all.

These days I wait by the window for my hunter.  He comes in with a blast of cold air.  I jump down and wind my way around his legs.  He stoops to pet me and says a word or two.  Then we pass a companionable evening in silence.  His gun is in the attic, tucked away forever.

 

• • • Have you ever rescued an animal?  Please tell us about it: Untoldanimalstories@gmail.com

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Adoption is the answer!

Tuesday, April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Celebrate all week with us! It is estimated that each year 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters. That’s a lot of important reasons to take action today! Below are just a few ways you can make a difference in the life of a homeless pet.


Increase Your Impact

Flights to Freedom flies animals from overpopulated shelters to no-kill shelters, giving them a chance at being adopted into a forever home. Last year, together we helped fly 7,177 pets to freedom through this program: 5,419 dogs, 756 cats, and 2 pot-bellied pigs!

Give a Gift

We’ve created two opportunities for you to directly and positively affect the lives of vulnerable shelter animals! You can feed orphaned infant kittens and puppies by providing specialized formula and bottle kits to shelters. The Flights to Freedom Comfort Packs helps ease the stress of pets on their journey to their forever home.


Show You Care

Proclaim it loud and clear! You can help spread the word about the importance of animal adoption with one of our exclusive Adopt Don’t Shop items or explore one of our other product collections perfect for Fur Moms and Fur Dads. Find your favorite! Feel good and do good. Last year, shopping in The Animal Rescue Site store raised funding for the value of more than 61.2 million bowls of food for shelter animals.


Increase Your Impact

Flights to Freedom flies animals from overpopulated shelters to no-kill shelters, giving them a chance at being adopted into a forever home. Last year, together we helped fly 7,177 pets to freedom through this program: 5,419 dogs, 756 cats, and 2 pot-bellied pigs!

Join us for Humane Lobby Day at the Harrisburg State Capitol–It Makes a Difference!

Pennsylvania Humane Lobby Day
April 29, 2019

The biggest day of the year for animals—and animal advocates—is almost here!

Please join us for this exciting opportunity to discuss ways you can make a difference in the lives of animals. You’ll also have the chance to meet with your legislators about Pennsylvania’s Pet Retail Sale bill dubbed Victoria’s Law, ending live pigeon shoots, and the ivory trade in our state. Also, on our agenda is to further protect dogs by establishing standards for outdoor shelter as well as to allow research animals to be adopted upon completion of their participatory studies.

No prior experience is required to get involved. We will provide the support you need to make the largest impact!

We will be joined by humane legislators as well as a few canine special guests.

RSVP today to make big changes for animals in your state!

Where and When

Monday, April 29
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
N 3rd St., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
Cost: Free

Register

Last day to register is April 22.
• Each attendee must complete a separate registration.
• If you plan to register someone after yourself, they MUST have a different email address.
• Add your mobile number to receive a text reminder and other ways to help animals via your phone (standard rates apply). If you currently receive texts from us, great! You’re already set to receive your text reminder.
• If you have questions, please email your state director Kristen Tullo at ktullo@humanesociety.org.

The reservation limit per user is 1 guests.

PLEASE GO HERE TO REGISTER:

http://action.humanesociety.org/site/Calendar?id=116959&view=RSVP

Helping Feline Survivors of the California Fire & Reuniting Cats with Their People

Alley Cat Allies  – GreaterGood Partners

The wildfire called Camp Fire in Northern California was the deadliest in the state’s history. Alley Cat Allies has been working to save cats’ lives following the fire and to ensure that cats who were separated from their families get reunited.Complete the three steps below to learn about Alley Cat Allies’ important work to save cats’ lives and, for a limited time, GreaterGood will provide lifesaving food supplies for animals.

Watch the video and help bring these cats home

how Alley Cat Allies is making an impact… How Alley Cat Allies is helping fire-displaced cats

Help bring these kitties home

Even though it’s been months since the Camp Fire devastated huge swathes of Northern California, there are still many, many cats that need our support. Alley Cat Allies continues to work with local organizations, helping to provide lifesaving care that’s so desperately needed and reuniting cats with their families.

While your completion of these three steps has led to the funding of lifesaving food supplies for animals, please consider directly supporting the efforts of Alley Cat Allies.

Click here to see how you can help

For more information: https://www.alleycat.org/

Let’s reduce misery for bullocks, ponies, and horses during the Chinchali Fair

Animal Rahat

There’s still time to relieve suffering during the Chinchali Fair!

Photo of bullocks hitched to cart

 

In just a few days, thousands of bullocks, ponies, and horses will be forced on a grueling, days-long trek to the Chinchali Fair—an annual festival in India. Some of them will be forced to run for more than 200 miles, hauling carts jam-packed with families and their possessions. Along the way, some will collapse from exhaustion, while others will become injured as their wagons hit ruts or are run off the road. Most will endure dehydration and despair.

Animal Rahat is preparing to provide these animals with food, water, and vital veterinary care—and it needs your support to come to the aid of as many individuals as possible.

For 15 years, Animal Rahat has been working to provide animals forced to pull carts to the fair with the basic care and sustenance that they need. These animals absolutely rely on Animal Rahat for everything from food and water to emergency medical treatment for problems such as lameness, exhaustion, untreated wounds, and debilitating infections.

The team informs animals’ owners about effective long-term care, which benefits them long after the fair is over. The team will also once again enlist the help of police officers to confiscate torture devices, including whips, pointed sticks, wire nose rings, and yoke spikes.

Many animals are no longer forced to make the trip, because Animal Rahat has persuaded many villagers from all around the region to rest their animals and instead take buses—which the group provides or subsidizes! The team is working hard to make these vehicles the primary means of transportation to the festival.

Thanks to kind people like you, Animal Rahat is changing minds and improving animals’ lives.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk
Founder