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October 25, 2018

Now police in Pennsylvania can break into hot cars to rescue pets

New Laws Pets
10252018_dog_in_hot_car_Flickr LRD615/via Flickr Creative Commons

This dog left in a hot car was rescued by concerned passersby and police.

The next time concerned passersby summon police about dogs or cats left in a dangerously hot car, officers in Pennsylvania will be able to force their way into the vehicle to make a rescue.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill that generally removes any legal liability from police, humane officers and other emergency responders who make such rescues, the Associated Press reports.

The law requires a reasonable effort be made first to find the owner before locks are jimmied or windows smashed to rescue the animals. Authorities must also leave a note identifying themselves and their agency, and provide information about retrieving their pet.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides this reminder:

What all owners must understand is that a car is essentially a metal box. On an 85-degree day, interior temperatures can climb over 100 degrees in only ten minutes and can jump to 120 degrees in half an hour. Even in cooler weather, the inside of a car may be as much as 20 degrees hotter than the outdoors — easily reaching 90 degrees on a 70-degree day. A shady parking spot, bowl of water or even an open window are insufficient measures to counteract the deadly effects of these temperatures.