Gov. Ducey signs Good Samaritan Law for rescuing kids, animals

Gov. Doug Ducey

Gov. Doug Ducey

PHOENIX – Acting less than 24 hours after legislative approval, Gov. Doug Ducey inked his approval Thursday to a measure designed to encourage people to rescue children and pets trapped in vehicles.

The new law, which takes effect Aug. 9, spells out that the owner of a vehicle can't sue someone who breaks out a window to remove a minor or domestic animal which is in “imminent danger of suffering physical injury or death.”

Ducey, who called for such a law in his State of the State speech in January – at least for children – said it is important to save lives.

“With this bill, we are protecting Good Samaritans who take action to save a child or pet and sending a signal that breaking a car window should be the last consideration when someone's life is on the line,” he said.

The proposal by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, had a few hurdles to overcome. While it cleared the Senate without trouble, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert contended there already are legal protections for those who save lives, and he also objected to having a law on the books that equate the life of an animal, even a pet, with the life of a human.