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Dogs in cars bill passes Senate committee

flickr user: Alan Levine

State lawmakers want to tackle animal safety. 

A felony and up to five years in prison. That’s the punishment someone could get if they leave their animal in the car and the animal dies. If the animal is left in a car unattended under conditions that could reasonably cause an animal to suffer or die, a person would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Democratic Senator Steve Bieda voted in favor of the legislation. He says criminal penalties for endangering animals are good, but there also needs to be more awareness about the dangers of leaving animals unattended in vehicles.

“A few minutes doesn’t seem like a long time when you’re shooting into a store but tragedy can occur and occurs every day around this country because people forget.”

The legislation is now on its way to the Senate floor for a full chamber vote.