The tragedy of losing yet another child in the South from overheating in a hot car, this time in the Wiregrass, is heartbreaking and preventable.

After seeing this tragedy play out in the past, I decided it was time to do something about it.

I authored two bills in the 2019 Alabama legislative session, sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Holley, to address this problem. One made it a crime to leave a child or an incapacitated person in a vehicle when the temperature in the vehicle was higher than the summertime temperatures we see outside in Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed that bill into law.

My bill also gave immunity for entry into that vehicle if the common sense step-by-step procedures for law enforcement and citizens acting as good Samaritan, under the direction of law enforcement, were followed.

These common sense steps were based on input from law enforcement, 911 operators, medical professionals, and my 30 years’ experience owning a large wrecker service and raising our Triple S Shepherds.

The second bill, written in the same manner, was for the protection of pets left in hot cars, and did not pass.

I am deeply saddened to report that it was opposed by the HSUS (Humane Society of the US) and its well-paid state director/lobbyist.

The HSUS paid a high dollar lobbyist firm, the Kinneys, with money that should have been used to save and rescue dogs. I would imagine that what it paid those lawyers was closer to $100,000 than $10,000. At the $19 a month donation request that they advertise to “save a dog,” as many as 5,000 dogs or cats could have been rescued. With local shelters and rescues begging for money, one has to ask why they weren't helped by this massive organization.

I'm glad you asked. I did some research on their financials posted on the HSUS website and imagine my surprise to find that they had over a quarter-billion dollars in off shore hedge funds in the Cayman islands and their goals stated in the footnotes are to put our animal farmers out of business.

I also found out they were promoting a bill in Texas that would limit the ability to use all of the tools needed to train service dogs for disabled veterans, a subject that is near and dear to my heart since I wrote the training language for the new service dog law written and sponsored by Alabama Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison.

What happened to the poor dogs that need to be rescued for “Just $19 a month”? They went the way of big salaries, control of what we can eat, and letting pets die in hot cars. It is no wonder Charity Navigator gave them a “D” rating.

Enough is enough. It's time to call and email them and tell them “SHAME on you,” and then switch your donations to local shelters and rescues.

Admirably, to my knowledge, our local shelters and rescues don’t pay their staff $133,000 a year with your money like a large Humane Society does in Birmingham. If my tour of the Wiregrass Humane Society and my conversations with the Ozark Animal Control officers are any indication, these fine, hard-working people are to be commended for being in it for the animals, not the money.

Stormin’ Norman Horton

Triple S Shepherds


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