Sen. McGarvey files animal safety ‘look before you lock’ bill

Amends ‘Look Before You Lock’ Law to include domestic animals


FRANKFORT — Senator Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, working with Louisville Metro Councilman Brandon Coan, has pre-filed legislation that, if approved in the 2018 Regular Session, would offer civil protection for persons who cause damage to a vehicle to remove a domestic animal locked inside in the heat.


Bill Request 164 amends KRS 411.245 to add domestic animals to current “Look Before You Lock” law. This provision offers immunity from civil liability for damages incurred when a “good Samaritan” is removing an endangered minor from a vehicle.


“This is about protecting animals,” said Senator McGarvey. “It is cruel – inhumane – to leave a pet in a car on a hot summer day. The family pet trapped inside a vehicle could quickly become overheated.


“My legislation would simply allow someone, with a good faith belief that a domestic animal is in eminent danger of physical injury if it is not immediately removed to gain entry to the vehicle to rescue it,” he explained. “The intent of the bill is to offer some protection for domestic animals – our pets – and the good Samaritans trying to save them.”


Along with the belief that the animal is in danger, the person who removes the domestic animal would be immune from civil liability for any resulting damage if the person contacts local law enforcement, local fire department or 911 and only uses the amount of force reasonably necessary to remove the animal. After removing the animals, the person should remain with it in a safe, but nearby location until public safety or emergency responders arrive on the scene. If emergency conditions require the person to leave the scene with the animal, that person should leave a written notice on the vehicle with contact information, the reason that entry into the vehicle was made, the location of the animal, and notice that authorities have been contacted.


“Amending the Look Before You Lock Act to include pets will make a good piece of legislation even better,” said Councilman Coan. “I appreciate Senator McGarvey’s support and leadership to help protect the animals in our lives.”


BR 164 will be considered when the General Assembly convenes Tuesday, January 2, 2018.


Senator McGarvey represents Senate District 19 in Jefferson County. He has served in the Kentucky State Senate since 2013.


Note: For a high-res. JPEG photo file of Senator McGarvey, please log on to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *