Coming out of the grocery store, we were delighted to see this sight!
I love that:
- The driver brought his/her companion animal along.
- Parked his four-legged friend in the shade, close to the door.
- The driver provides goggles for a no-bugs-in-the-eyes ride for his/her buddy.
I’m usually an easygoing person, but there are a few things that raise my hackles. One of them is leaving an animal inside of a car on a hot day; I don’t care if the windows are cracked.
On the Animal Legal Defense website, I learned that in the U.S. over half of the states have “hot car” laws (laws that prohibit leaving unattended animals in vehicles).
Currently, twenty of these states have “hot car” laws that allow certain public officials (e.g., law enforcement, humane officers) to break into the vehicle to rescue the animal. They include Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
The following states have “Good Samaritan” hot car laws—laws that allow private citizens to take matters into their own hands—or proposed laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Alabama has a “hot car” bill pending.
Shame on New Jersey and West Virginia. In these states, although it is illegal to leave an animal trapped in a hot car, no one is granted the authority to break into the vehicle to save the animal, not even law enforcement.
My state, Idaho, doesn’t have any laws on the books about this one way or another, so I’ve decided it’s a “choose your battles” state. Breaking the window of a car to save an animal is a battle I’d gladly choose.
Legal or not, would you break a car window on a hot day to save an animal?