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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Yes, It is Legal to Break a Car Window to Rescue Overheated Dogs!


Saturday was the day for joy rides for dogs because temperatures reached 80 degrees in New Hampshire but I couldn't help but wonder if these pups were going to be left in the car while their owners stopped at the store because temperatures inside a warm car is several degrees hotter than it is outdoors even when parked in the shade, with the air conditioner running, or with the windows slightly open. 



Every year I am horrified by the news about the senseless death of dogs whose owners failed to pay attention to the public service announcements that are blasted on social media, word of mouth, etc. Even without all of the warnings from the public one would think that pet owners would use common sense about leaving their dogs in a hot car. In other words, if it's too hot for a human being to be in the car then it is too hot for a dog to be there as well. 


When I see a dog seated in a hot car I immediately search for the owner by alerting the store's customer service to call for him or her on the intercom while I wait nervously for a response but now that I've just learned that New Hampshire is one of 19 states that prohibits leaving animals in a confined vehicle I am relieved that I can legally taken action if necessary.

You'd better bet that I most certainly would break a car window because I don't want to be the one to say, "If only I had done something!" Wouldn't you?


Besides New Hampshire, if you live in Arizona, California, Illinois, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, West Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont you are cleared to break a window if you sense a dog is in danger. 

Even within these details, there are many shades of grey regarding civilian rescue efforts. This is where common law comes into play, and it’s a city by city call if good Samaritan civilians would face criminal charges upon, say, smashing a window to save a pup. So always call 9-1-1 first before taking any further action.

Please pass this post along so that these unprotected dogs can remain safe during hot weather! Thank you!






1 comment:

  1. Our dogs don't travel much once the weather gets warm unless they are headed some place. I'm always concerned if we have to make a stop and one of us tries to stay in the car leaving the A/C on to keep the temps down. It's just too hot.

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