California legislators recently passed the Right to Rescue Act, which, as of January 1st, 2016 allows concerned citizens who see dogs left in a hot cars to break in to save the animals’ lives. This is great news for those who can’t stand to see a dog in danger, but before you go breaking windows of every vehicle with a canine inside, there are some requirements that you should know about.
First, you have to make sure the car cannot be opened. You also have to be acting “in good faith,” which means you’ve observed that the dog is suffering or believe the dog is in immediate danger. You have to call law enforcement and stay with the dog until they arrive. And you must not use more force than necessary, which means no vandalizing the rest of the car to teach the bad owner a lesson, even if you really, really want to.
If those requirements are met, a good Samaritan can rescue a dog from a hot car without legal repercussions. Inside a vehicle, temperatures can skyrocket very quickly on even a moderately warm day, and many dogs die each year because of owners who leave them in hot cars thinking that everything will be okay. Hopefully this law will allow more people to save dogs’ lives and make owners think twice about leaving pups in the car.
Are you happy that this law was passed? What would you do if you saw a dog in a hot car? Let us know in the comments below!