[Second Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 3636

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 14, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  JAMEL C. HOLLEY

District 20 (Union)

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Senator  COLIN BELL

District 2 (Atlantic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Burzichelli and Senator Madden

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for rescue of animal from motor vehicle under inhumane conditions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on December 7, 2017.

  


An Act concerning the rescue of an animal from a vehicle under certain circumstances and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes 2[and Title 4 of the Revised Statutes]2.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     2[1.  A person shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for breaking into and entering a vehicle pursuant to subsection b. of section 2 of this act, if the person reasonably believes that an animal has been left unattended in the vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the animal as prohibited by 1[subsection c. of R.S.4:22-26 or]1 paragraph (3) of subsection a. of R.S.4:22-17 1or subsection c. of R.S.4:22-261, the animal is in imminent danger of serious harm, and the person in good faith enters the vehicle in order to remove, or render emergency care to, the animal.]2

 

     [22.  a.  If a person reasonably believes an animal has been left unattended in a parked vehicle in violation of R.S.4:22-17 and under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal, including, but not limited to, heat, cold, inadequate ventilation, or other circumstances likely to endanger the animal, or cause bodily injury or death to the animal, as prohibited by paragraph (3) of subsection a. of R.S.4:22-17 and subsection c. of R.S.4:22-26, the person shall:

     (1) immediately report the circumstances to rescue personnel; and

     (2) make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.

     b. If the person or any responding rescue personnel has reasonable cause to believe that any delay in rescuing the animal would result in serious bodily injury or death  to the animal, the person or responding rescue personnel may immediately break into and enter the vehicle and remove the animal to a safe location, with immunity from civil or criminal liability as provided by section 1 of this act.  After rescuing the animal, the person shall immediately contact a law enforcement officer, certified animal control officer, or humane law enforcement officer or agent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, if one has not already been notified.

     c.  The rescue personnel, certified animal control officer, or humane law enforcement officer or agent of the New Jersey Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, contacted in accordance with subsection b. of this section, shall immediately seek proper veterinary care for the animal and commence any investigation necessary for a suspected violation of R.S.4:22-17 or R.S.4:22-26.

     d.  As used in this section, “rescue personnel” means a law enforcement officer, a member of a paid, part paid, or volunteer fire department or fire company, or ambulance, emergency, or rescue squad, a certified animal control officer, or humane law enforcement officer or agent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.]2

 

   21.  a.  Whenever a domestic companion animal has been left unattended in a motor vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the animal, including, but not limited to, heat, cold, inadequate ventilation, or other circumstances likely to endanger or cause bodily injury or death to the animal, any person who, without license or privilege to otherwise enter the motor vehicle, may in good faith enter the vehicle in order to remove, or render emergency care to, the animal if the person reasonably believes that the health or welfare of the animal may be at risk under such circumstances, provided that prior to entering the motor vehicle the person contacted appropriate rescue personnel to report the circumstances and made a reasonable attempt to locate the owner or operator of the motor vehicle or other person responsible for the animal unless exigent circumstances warrant foregoing such actions.

     b.  After removing the animal from the vehicle, the person shall immediately contact for assistance appropriate rescue personnel, if one has not already been contacted.

     c.  Upon receipt of any such report from a person, the appropriate rescue personnel shall dispatch assistance to the scene of the animal recovery, and immediately seek proper veterinary care for the animal as needed and cause to be commenced any investigation necessary for a suspected violation of R.S.4:22-17 or R.S.4:22-26.

     d.  A person who acts in accordance with subsections a. and b. of this section shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for any acts or omissions related to breaking into and entering a vehicle and rendering emergency care to a domestic companion animal.  The immunity provided under this section shall be in addition to any other immunity that may apply under the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., or any other law, rule, or regulation.

     e.  As used in this section, “appropriate rescue personnel” means a law enforcement officer, a member of a paid, part paid, or volunteer fire department or fire company, or ambulance, emergency, or rescue squad, a certified animal control officer, or a humane law enforcement officer or agent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.2

     2[3.] 2.2  This act shall take effect immediately.