Civil Immunity Measures Tied to Child and Pet Safety Move Forward

Jan 25, 2016

Sen. Carroll (R-Paducah)
Credit LRC Public Information

Efforts to provide civil protections for people who break into vehicles to rescue a child or pet are detailed in two bills moving through the state senate.  

Both passed out of the judiciary committee last week.

Paducah Senator Danny Carrol says the aim of the two measures is to ease any anxiety tied to breaking into a vehicle when a child, dog, or cat is in trouble.  

Carrol says there shouldn’t be any hesitation to act quickly in these cases.  

“The value of a child’s life is far greater than the value of any damage that’s done to that car,” said Carrol.  “And I feel like the steps that are in the bill are reasonable.”


Senate Bill 16 reads civil immunity for damages of breaking into a car would be granted if there is the reasonable good faith belief that a minor is in imminent danger of harm if not removed.


The other measure regarding pets sets out the same protection if the dog or cat is in immediate danger of death.  

Grayson Senator Robin Webb voted no.  She worries about what she terms a ‘highly subjective standard.’  

“I would hate to think that somebody heard a dog bark in let’s say, my horse trailer, and felt compelled to remove the dog of my trailer when that dog was not in distress,” Webb explained.


Carrol says the civil protections tied to pets in cars is contained in a Tennessee law, the first of its kind.