Kasich signs bill allowing breaking into hot vehicles to save kids, pets

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COLUMBUS (WDTN/WCMH) – Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law Tuesday that protects a person who breaks into a hot car to save a minor or a pet.

Senate Bill 215 allows people to force their way into a locked vehicle if police are not able to get there in time. The law does come with some limitations, however.

The person must call 911, they must check to see if the door is unlocked and if they feel it is an emergency they can break into the vehicle.READ MORE: Ohio House changes what you can drink and where you can drink it

Senate Bill 215 doesn’t take effect until August 29, but it’s already getting praise from animal advocates.

“As the temperature warms up, we start getting a lot of calls about dogs in cars,” said Elysse Rathbone, Humane Agent for the Capital Area Humane Society.

Hundreds of dogs die each year after being left in a hot, sweltering car. And increasingly, small children are dying after a parent forgets the child in the backseat.

But before breaking out a window, a Good Samaritan must prove the pet or child is in danger.

“You absolutely do have to call the police department in order to be able to move forward,” said Rathbone. “You have to be able to prove that this is an emergency or life threatening incident.”

Rathbone said you should also document what you find, using a cell phone to take pictures or video. When breaking a window, be sure to do so away from the animal or child as to not cause injury. And also stay on scene until help and police arrive.

Another bill signed Tuesday was the measure to eliminate the limit on alcohol by volume in Ohio.

Gov. Kasich signed 12 bills into law Tuesday. House Bill 523, the bill allowing medical marijuana was not among them. That bill still needs to be signed by the speaker and president of the Senate. It will then go to Kasich’s desk where the governor will have 10 days to sign it into law. If he takes no action in those 10 days, the measure will automatically become law.READ MORE: Medical marijuana bill heads to Governor Kasich’s deskWhat others are clicking on:

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