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Illinois House Considers Good Samaritan Animal Rescue Measure

via TheMuuj / Flikr

With summer fast approaching, one Illinois lawmaker wants to let people break into cars to rescue animals trapped inside. But some argue that might do more harm than good.
Democratic Representative David Olsen’s proposal says you won’t be liable for breaking into a car to rescue a cat or dog, so long as you’ve tried everything else, like calling the police.

But opponents are skeptical. Greg Largent of the Illinois Animal Welfare Association argues animal rescue should be left to professionals, like animal control officials.

“They can pick up the phone and dial 911 when they observe something like this, and someone’s gonna respond. They don’t need to put themselves in jeopardy by trying to be a Good Samaritan,” Largent said.

Other opponents argue there’s too much risk involved in letting someone break into another person’s car. Supporters of the legislation  people should not have to stand by and watch animals suffer.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.