This Wisconsin law enacted in 2015 makes a person immune from civil liability for property damage or injury resulting from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle to rescue an animal or person. Immunity is provided only if certain conditions were met. The person must have a "good faith belief" that the person or domestic animal was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm and used no more force than necessary to remove the person or animal. That person must have first determined the vehicle was locked and forcible entry was necessary, and that person must have dialed 911 or other emergency services prior to this action. In addition, the person must have waited with the person or animal until emergency services arrived or left information on the vehicle's windshield as described in the law.
(1) In this section:
(a) “Domestic animal” means a dog, cat, or other animal that is domesticated and kept as a household pet, but does not include a farm animal, as defined in s. 951.01(3).
(b) “Vehicle” means a motor vehicle, or any other vehicle, that is used to transport persons or cargo and that is enclosed.
(2) A person is immune from civil liability for property damage or injury that results from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle if all of the following are true:
(a) A person or a domestic animal was present in the vehicle and the actor had a good faith belief that the person or domestic animal was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm unless he or she exited or was removed from the vehicle.
(b) The actor determined that the vehicle was locked and that forcible entry was necessary to enable the actor to enter the vehicle or to enable the person or domestic animal to be removed from or to exit the vehicle.
(c) The actor dialed the telephone number “911” or otherwise contacted law enforcement, emergency medical services, or animal control before he or she forcibly entered the vehicle.
(d) The actor remained with the person or domestic animal until a law enforcement officer, emergency medical service provider, animal control officer, or other emergency medical responder, as defined in s. 256.01(4p), arrived at the scene.
(e) The actor used no more force than he or she reasonably believed necessary to enter the vehicle in order to remove the person or domestic animal or to allow the person or domestic animal to exit the vehicle.
(f) If the actor left the scene before the owner or operator of the vehicle returned to the scene, the actor placed a notice on the windshield of the vehicle that included his or her name, telephone number, and mailing address, the reason he or she entered the vehicle, and the location, if known, of the person or domestic animal when the actor left the scene.
<<For credits, see Historical Note field.>>
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
2015 Act 103, § 1, eff. Nov. 13, 2015 .
2017 Act 12, § 164, eff. June 23, 2017 .
2015 Act 103, § 2 provides:
“(1) This act first applies to entries that are made on the effective date [Nov. 13, 2015] of this subsection.”