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Pittsburgh councilwoman introduces pair of bills to protect animals

| Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

Pittsburgh City Council proposed separate bills on Tuesday that would prohibit people from trapping wild birds and permit public safety personnel to break into a vehicle when an animal inside is suffering during extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Councilwoman Darlene Harris of Spring Hill said she sponsored the bird trapping ban after seeing news reports last month about a West End man trapping pigeons in the Strip District. She said city law prohibits bird trapping in parks, but not other areas.

Her other bill would permit public safety employees, including police, firefighters and animal control officers, to break into a locked vehicle after making a “reasonable effort” to contact the owner. She said the legislation would indemnify the city from legal action.

Harris said hundreds of pets in the United States die each year because owners leave them unattended in overheated and frigid vehicles.

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