As the Summer heat begins to ramp in Acadiana, we all need to stay mindful to never leave our pets in our vehicles. Hopefully, you won't be put in a situation where you'll need to rescue a pet, but if you are, there is a recently adopted law in Lousiana that can prevent any lawsuits from coming your way. here's what you need to know...

Late last year in 2019, Louisiana and about 15 other states have passed a "Good Samaritan Law" that empowers "any person to rescue a distressed animal" according to animallaw.info.

The Louisiana "Good Samaritan Law" specifically addresses and defines "animal" as "any cat or dog kept for pleasure, companionship, or other purposes that are not purely commercial."

So, if you do unfortunately see an animal in a dire situation and you have no choice but to break a window to rescue the animal, the "Good Samaritan Law" protects you from being sued for damages by the owner of the vehicle.

However, there are boxes that have to be checked, so to speak, in order to be protected by the law.

From animallaw.info -

The immunity provided by Subsection A of this Section shall apply only if the person:

(1) Makes a good-faith attempt, based on the circumstances known to the person at the time, to locate the owner of the motor vehicle before entering, forcibly or otherwise, the vehicle.

(2) Contacts the local law enforcement agency, the fire department, animal control, or the 911 emergency operator before entering the motor vehicle forcibly or otherwise.

(3) Determines the motor vehicle is locked and has a good-faith belief that there are no other reasonable means for the animal to be removed from the vehicle.

(4) Believes that removal of the animal from the motor vehicle is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of death.

(5) Uses force that was reasonably necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle to rescue the animal.

(6) Places a notice on the windshield of the motor vehicle providing details of the person's contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the animal, and notice that the proper authorities have been notified.

(7) Remains with the animal in a safe location, out of the elements of nature but reasonably close to the motor vehicle, until emergency responders from law enforcement, fire, or animal control arrive unless the person cannot remain with the animal, in which case the person shall notify the local law enforcement agency, the fire department, animal control, or the 911 emergency operator, as applicable, before leaving the motor vehicle, and shall then take the animal to the closest shelter, as applicable.

You can read the entire "Good Samaritan Law" at animallaw.info.