New Jersey Law: It’s Still Illegal to Break Into a Hot Vehicle to Save a Dog
It's finally starting to feel like summer in South Jersey with temperatures over 80 the last couple of days. As the temperatures rise, so do the dangers of heat-related injuries to humans and our four-legged friends.
If you're now out and about with your best friend, please keep in mind that you should never leave your pet unattended in your car. Temps can soar to 100 + degrees in just minutes as the sun's heat becomes trapped in a parked car. Rolling down windows will have little effect. The trapped animal could suffer from heatstroke, which could become fatal.
Unfortunately, if you ever come a cross a animal trapped in a car, you can not legally break a window to save them, according to the Animal League and Historical Center website.
There are now 28 states that strictly prohibits leaving a dog unattended in a hot car including New Jersey, according to the Dogington Post. There are 11 states where a Good Samaritan can break into a car to save a distressed dog, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, New Jersey is not one of those states.
You can also face a penalty of up to $2,000 for leaving your pet trapped in a parked car.
The Humane Society of the United States has a number of steps you can take if you do come across an animal trapped inside a stifling car.
- Take down the car's make, model and license plate information.
- If there are businesses nearby, alert their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car's owner.
- Call the non-emergency number of the local police department or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive.
- It's always a good habit to never, ever, leave your furry friend(s) unattended in your car, especially during the summer months.
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