Proposed Florida bill wants to ban dogs from putting head out car windows

If passed, a proposed bill in Florida would make it illegal for a dog to put its head out of the car window to enjoy the breeze.

The proposal, filed this month, would prohibit specific actions on the transportation of dogs on public roadways, according to its language.

The bill touches on several aspects of animal welfare including riding in motor vehicles with pets. The legislation would cover the way drivers carry pets inside their vehicles or in the open bed of a pickup truck.

The proposed legislation would not let a person allow “a dog to extend its head or any other body part outside a motor vehicle window while the person is operating the motor vehicle on a public roadway.”

Drivers would also not be allowed to transport a dog on the running board, hood, fender or roof of a motor vehicle, and drivers would not be allowed to transport a dog in a space intended for cargo or in a trailer being towed by a vehicle.

A dog, under the proposal, would have to be secured in a crate that is “appropriate” in size for the dog. The crate would need to be restrained by a safety harness and the crate would have to be constructed in a way to prevent the dog from escaping.

The bill’s language also says that the dog crate would need adequate ventilation and to protect the dog from direct sunlight.

The legislation would take effect on July 1 if it passes both chambers of Florida’s legislature, Scripps News West Palm Beach reported.

State Sen. Lauren Book, the lawmaker who filed the bill, said in a statement, “Our family has three dogs, two of which are almost 175 pounds each and love sticking their heads out the window. So I welcome and appreciate all public comment on this issue, which is only one piece of a complete proposed overhaul of the state’s animal welfare system as brought to me by veterinarians and advocates.”

One part of the bill also focuses on cosmetic testing on animals for products that would be used for humans.

“We can easily amend this piece out of the bill while protecting the intent of the animal welfare community and vets who proposed the policy because of unintended injuries they’ve treated, and we will,” Sen. Book said.

By Douglas Jones, Scripps News.