Title 29-A, §2087: Transporting dogs in open vehicle regulated
A cat or dog cannot be “unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the dog’s or cat’s health or safety.”
On Wednesday, one day after the newspaper’s story on the bill ran, Rep. Jim Handy, D-Lewiston, withdrew the bill he had sponsored, which was soberly titled An Act Concerning the Transporting of Dogs in Passenger Vehicles. In a statement, Handy said the constituent who had suggested it had changed his mind.
Yes I do buckle up my dogs with harnesses and a seat belts and they are very good about it. I haven’t had to worry about stopping quickly nor have I been distracted by a fussy dog. I make sure humans are buckled in my vehicle and animals are just as important to me.
Transport of Dogs in Motor Vehicles
Some dogs like to chase fast-moving things, including motor vehicles
against the law in Minnesota () to "leave a dog or a cat unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the dog's or cat's health or safety." In , the Supreme Court ruled that police do not need to use drug dogs to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop. This decision stems from the case of Roy Caballes, who was pulled over for speeding and subsequently arrested for marijuana trafficking after a drug dog was brought to the scene and alerted on his vehicle. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction, finding that a drug sniff was unreasonable without evidence of a crime other than speeding. But in a 6-2 ruling, the Court held that the is not implicated when police use a dog sniff during the course of a legal traffic stop. Justice Stevens wrote the Opinion of the Court, finding that since dog sniffs only identify the presence of illegal items — in which citizens have no legitimate privacy interest — the Fourth Amendment does not apply to their use. Dogs in parked cars are also at risk in hot weather; an enclosed car heats up in minutes, and the heat can kill a dog. Owners can be punished for leaving a dog in a car, under anticruelty statutes or laws that specifically forbid leaving a dog in a parked vehicle without adequate ventilation. The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case that casts doubt on the effectiveness of drug dogs to generate probable cause for a vehicle search. In , the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a drug dog’s reliability record must also be considered to determine probable cause. The case will provide long-due scrutiny to the legal assumption that dogs are reliable contraband indicators. In their dissenting opinion of Caballes, Justices Souter and Ginsburg pointed to studies showing that drug dogs frequently return false positives (12.5-60% of the time, according to one study). A recent Chicago Tribune field study revealed that when alerting for drugs in vehicles. (Worse, police often on suspected vehicles.) A high court ruling in favor of Harris would effectively overturn Caballes, because a dog “alert” would no longer be enough to justify a vehicle search.