All responsible dog owners know to never leave their dog in a hot, enclosed vehicle. And if you see a dog locked in a car, it’s recommended that you find help. But how far would you go to save a dog’s life? Would you smash a car window? What if it were legal to do so?
A new law is being proposed in California that would legally allow people to smash a car window in order to save a dog from illness or death related to heat exhaustion. According to ABC7 news, the bill is called “The Right to Rescue Act.” It is being proposed Tuesday, May 24th at the Human Society rally in Sacramento.
Assembly members Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga, Ling Ling Chang of Diamond Bar, and Kristin Olsen of Riverbank are responsible for drafting the bill. The three of them are so passionate about the cause, that they even created a video of themselves sitting in a hot car for 21 minutes. The video shows just how dangerous it can be to leave a dog in an overheated vehicle.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that when in doubt, always leave your pet at home, not in the car. On a hot day, the interior temperature of a vehicle can rise nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit in only 10 minutes. This sharp increase in temperature can put your dog at risk of heatstroke, which can be fatal. Studies show a dog is equally at risk on a cloudy day as they are on a bright sunny day. And cracking the windows doesn’t always help. Don’t be fooled by cloud cover and an occasional breeze! If the temperature is above 72 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t leave your dog alone in the car.
But what if you see that someone else has left their dog in a car? Is there anything that can be done to help? Currently, The Humane Society of the United States recommends that before you take action, see if you can find the owner. Write down the license plate number as well as the make and model of the vehicle in question. Walk to nearby businesses, asking if anyone owns the car and the dog. Notify managers and security guards at the businesses, and ask if they can make an announcement. If you cannot find the owner, call the non-emergency number for animal control or the local police. Wait by the vehicle for law enforcement to arrive, and let them handle the situation.
All that could change as this new law gets proposed in California. Gone may be the days of waiting for animal control to arrive. If this new law is passed, a concerned Californian will be able to take real action for the sake of the dog.
ABC7 talked to local people in Southern California, and most are supportive of the bill, saying it’s better to save the dog and worry about what the owner may think later. But some individuals expressed concern that people may take advantage of the new law, breaking a window before it’s truly necessary.
What do you think? Should it be legal to break a car window to save a dog’s life? Is that something you would do if given the chance? Let us know!