(COTATI, CA)–As summer approaches and temperatures rise, the danger of dogs dying because negligent owners left them in a hot car grows as well. 

Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time.

What can you do, within your legal rights, if you see an animal in distress in a locked car? The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has some tips.

  1. 1)If you see an animal in distress, call 911.
  2. 2)Know your state laws.

Calling 911 is the first step to saving that animal’s life. Most states allow a public safety officer to break into the car and rescue an animal if its life is threatened.

Although 29 states have some form of “hot car” law that prohibits leaving a companion animal unattended in a parked vehicle, the laws differ drastically from place to place: 

·       Only eight states — California, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and Tennessee — have “Good Samaritan” laws that allow any person to break a car window to save a pet. Alabama and Arizona have bills pending.

·       In six of those states — California, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin — “Good Samaritans” must first contact law enforcement before breaking into the car in order for their actions to be considered legal.

·       In 19 states, only public officials such as law enforcement and humane officers can legally break into a car to rescue an animal (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).

·       In New Jersey and West Virginia, although it is illegal to confine an animal in a hot car, no one has the authority to break into a vehicle to save the animal, not even law enforcement.

  1. 3)Let people know it’s not okay to leave their pet unattended in a car.
  2. 4)Get the message out with the Animal Legal Defense Fund sunshade

When an animal dies in a hot car, most of their humans say they left them “just for a minute.” If you see someone leave their animal in a parked car, tell them that even if it’s a pleasant day outside, the temperature inside the car can skyrocket fast. Cracking a window doesn’t eliminate the risk of heatstroke or death.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has created sunshades that remind pet owners of the risks of leaving animals unattended in a car. The sunshades feature the message, “Warning: Don’t leave dogs in hot cars,” in lettering large enough to be readable from across a parking lot. It also urges people to call 911 if they find animals locked in a car and in distress. The sunshades are available at aldf.org/hotcars and all proceeds benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

For more information on keeping dogs safe this summer visit aldf.org/hotcars.

About the Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visitaldf.org.

Talkin' Pets News

04/15/2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Author Bob Bennett will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 4/15/2017 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away his book "Guide to Raising Rabbits"

Inventor & CEO of ONLY LEASH, Brett Flippen, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 04/15/2017 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away his Only Leash

Actress Maria Menounos will stop by Talkin' Pets with Jon Patch 4/15/2017 to chat about the first ever upcoming Beverly Hills Dog Show On USA Network April 16, 2017 at 8pm EST

 

Tips from the Animal Legal Defense Fund

(COTATI, CA)–As summer approaches and temperatures rise, the danger of pets dying because negligent owners left them in a hot car grows as well. 

Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car with all the windows closed can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time.

What can you do, within your legal rights, if you see an animal in distress in a locked car? The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has some tips.

If you see an animal in distress, call 911.

Most states allow a public safety officer to break into the car and rescue an animal if its life is threatened. Calling 911 is the first step to saving that animal’s life.

Know your state laws.

More and more states are adopting “hot car” laws that prohibit leaving a companion animal unattended in a parked vehicle, with six enacted in just the last two years and two more pending. 

Although 20 states have some form of “hot car” laws, the laws differ drastically from place to place: 

•Only two states—Wisconsin and Tennessee—have “good Samaritan” laws that allow any person to break a car window to save a pet. 

•In 16 states, only public officials such as law enforcement and humane officers can legally break into a car to rescue an animal (Arizona, California. Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington)

•In New Jersey and West Virginia, no one has the authority to break into a vehicle to save an animal, not even law enforcement.

•Legislation is pending in Florida and New York to give would give any concerned bystander the legal right to help an animal in distress. Pending legislation in Pennsylvania would make it illegal to confine a dog or cat in a vehicle in conditions that would jeopardize its health but only a police, public safety, or humane officer would have the legal right to rescue the animal.

Penalties for hot car deaths of companion animals are still limited. Most states limit penalties to misdemeanors or civil fines and infractions, even for repeat offenders. Maine and South Dakota’s laws don’t impose a penalty at all.

Let people know it’s not okay to leave their pet unattended in a car.

When an animal dies in a hot car, most of their humans say they left them “just for a minute.” If you see someone leave their pet in a parked car, tell them that even if it’s a pleasant day outside, the temperature inside the car can skyrocket fast. Cracking a window doesn’t eliminate the risk of heatstroke or death.

Get the message out with an ALDF sunshade

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has created sunshades that remind pet owners of the risks of leaving animals unattended in a car. The sunshades feature the message, “Warning: Don’t leave dogs in hot cars,” in lettering large enough to be readable from across a parking lot. They also urge people to call 911 if they find animals locked in a car and in distress. The sunshades are available aldf.org/hotcarsand all proceeds benefit ALDF.

For more information on keeping dogs safe this summer visit aldf.org/hotcars.

About ALDF

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, ALDF files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

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