• Bill would protect people who break into hot cars to save pets

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    ATLANTA - A Georgia lawmaker is seeking protection for people who break into cars to rescue pets in hot weather.

    Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick is proposing legislation that would protect people from a lawsuit if they damage a vehicle to rescue an animal in danger.

    The Marietta Republican said the idea came out of a Senate committee studying whether laws are needed to regulate support or service animals.

    Here's how it works: You have to make sure the car is actually locked. Then, you have to call police. If you do end up breaking the window, you have to stay near the car until first responders get there.


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    The proposal would add language to an existing law protecting people who rescue children from hot cars. It was passed after the 2015 death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris.

    Cooper was killed by his father Justin Ross Harris in a hot car in Cobb County. Justin Harris, who moved to Georgia from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    More than a dozen other states have a law that allows people to rescue animals in hot cars. Some states have a law that protects certain public officials rescuing a pet. Some states don't have any laws on the topic.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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