- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure making it a civil offense to lock an animal in a car or enclosed space in dangerous conditions, like extreme heat or cold.

Inslee signed Senate Bill 5501 Monday, joined by Waffles, a 1-year-old Schnauzer-Yorkshire Terrier mix who belongs to bill sponsor Sen. Joe Fain. The new law creates a $125 fine for leaving an unattended animal confined where temperature, lack of water or dearth of fresh air could hurt or kill it.

It also authorizes an animal control officer or law enforcement officer to enter a car or enclosed area to remove the animal, and protects them from any liability for any property damage that may occur.

Criminal prosecution for animal cruelty could still be pursued separate from the civil fine.

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