Leaving your dog in you car could leave you with a broken window

If you saw a dog inside a hot car what would you do?

Big Cypress Animal Clinic veterinarian David Randall says leaving a dog in a car, even in 70-degree weather, is dangerous, “You always should have someone come with you to stay with the pet, leave the car running or someone take the pet out and walk them.”

“Dogs do not perspire they have heat evaporate from their ears and around their face but the rest of their body doesn’t so when you have these dogs in the car and they pant, pant, pant, pant. They’re overheating and they can absolutely die.” said Randall.

So what do you do if you see a dog who’s severely panting in a parked car? Always call police first. Then follow the law.

In Florida a person who enters a vehicle for purpose of removing a domestic animal is immune to civil liability for damage if you call police first.

And although Florida doesn’t have a law against leaving a pet in a car, Collier County has an ordinance against confining a pet in harmful conditions, and it comes with a fine of up to $500.

27 states have laws that prohibit leaving an animal in a confined vehicle or provide civil immunity protection from being sued from a person rescuing a distressed animal from the car.

How to rescue the animal legally:

  • Has to determine the car is locked or there is no reasonable method to remove dog.
  • Has good faith and reasonable belief that entry is necessary.
  • Notifies law enforcement or 911 before entering car or immediately after.
  • Uses no more force than necessary to enter.
Reporter:Hannah Vogel