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Missouri Pet Safety, the Law and How to Get Assistance for Pets Left in Hot Vehicles

What does your pet mean to you? I have heard anything from “they are like my kids” to “my best friend”. With that said, would you leave your best friend or your child in a hot car locked with little ventilation? We’re going to assume your answer was a firm “no”. While many Missouri residents take precautions or avoid the situation altogether, there are others that do not, and the Missouri law currently does not have the “Right to Rescue” law which falls under the good Samaritan law. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund there are 26 states that have some kind of law protecting our furry friends from being rescued from a hot car quickly as long as it is “reasonable and in good faith”.

Currently in the state of Missouri you have to contact Animal Cruelty Task Force who work with the local officials to report the incident in order for anything to be done. This means that the animal could pass or suffer from a heat stroke before anyone was able to arrive on the scene. This is the risk you take if you’re traveling with your companion on a hot summer day and need to run an errand that requires having to leave your pet in the car. It’s recommended you leave your pet(s) at home. Help spread the word to prevent cruelty and abuse. Here is the life-saving motto to help you remember when to leave your furry loved ones at home: “70 degrees and over, don’t take Rover”. Learn more about the Animal Cruetly Task Force and what they do.

What states have the law and what states do not?


If you live in a state other than MO here is a map that shows what states have passed the pet protection laws and what ones have not. Visit here to view the interactive map.

What will be done in the state of Missouri to pass a pet protection law?

Animals are defenseless and depend on their owners to protect them. They cannot speak for themselves let alone unlock a car door and walk out.  They are helpless in helping themselves out of a situation where they are in danger. The state of Missouri could do better when protecting its pets, so they are not left in a deathtrap helpless, waiting and suffering. Missouri lawmakers propose a law similar to California’s “Right to Rescue” Act. A bill was drafted in 2018 by the Humane Society of Missouri to the legislative session to bring forth the problems with abandoned pets and the ability to rescue them under Good Samaritan faith. The urgency to push this issue to our legislation, and its representatives, is extremely important and is encouraged that you have a voice why Missouri needs to pass this law for abused animals. It’s time to protect them.

What can you do to help until this happens or if it happens?

  • Post informational flyers where you have the approval to spread the word about tips about keeping your pet safe.
  • Set up a social media page and form a group. This will help bring communities together and form common interests and conversations. Social media has a stronghold on communication, and it will get noticed. Be active and share your stories, opinions, and ideas.
  • Spread the weather report virtually, on flyers and verbally about the weather and let your community know to leave their pets at home
  • Use your voice to state facts and opinions to your representatives.
  • Be active and learn more about it:
    1. Humane Society of Missouri
    2. Animal Cruelty Task Force
  • There are other Humane Societies that might be in your local communities as well including:
    1. Southeast Missouri Humane Society
    2. Humane Society of Southwest Missouri
    3. Central Missouri Humane Society
  • Look up your local humane society if you would like to be active in helping this law pass to protect abused animals. Here is a Google map of most of the main Humane Societies in Missouri

What to do if you see an animal in an overheated car.

If you see an animal in a locked, overheated car or is being abused, please call the local police, as well as the Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314.647.4400 and, wait until help arrives. Bystanders can only gather information so take down the license plate and make and model of the vehicle. Be sure to write down and report the condition of the animal and how hot it is outside.

Without your help, they are helpless and need our love and care. They deserve better. People need to make better judgments when it comes to their furry friends and with consequences if they don’t. We cannot continue to ignore the fact that we have not placed these laws into effect stating that our pet’s lives are less valuable than ours (humans).

If you are involved in an auto collision and need repair service, contact Spirit West Rapid Refinish at 636.386.8060 Monday through Friday between 9am-5pm, closed 12pm-1pm or stop by our convenient location at 14643 Manchester Rd., Ballwin, Missouri 63011.

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