SB 188

85(R) - 2017
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Civil Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Carlos Uresti

Bill Caption

Relating to civil or criminal liability for transporting in, confining in, or removing from a motor vehicle certain animals. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 188 would provide immunity from liability for individuals who use force to enter a motor vehicle to remove a domestic animal or a vulnerable individual. Before exerting force however, the individual would have to determine that the vehicle is locked, that there is no reasonable method to for the animal to escape without help, and that entry is necessary to avoid imminent harm to the animal. They must also not use more force than necessary and make sure that law enforcement was notified immediately before or after. After breaking into the vehicle, the person must remain with the pet or the person within a reasonable proximity to the vehicle, and must forfeit the animal when the first responders arrive. There is currently no state law allowing for civil liability, except for peace officers, in these situations.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Though this bill is well intended, we worry about the effect it might have on the private property rights of people who have their property destroyed simply because some civilian suspects that a pet may be in imminent danger. This bill would give private individuals the power to destroy other people’s property based on their own discretion, and shield them from liability. This bill violates our liberty principle of Private Property Rights, by making people’s property vulnerable to destruction, and then protecting the person from having to face the liability.