California lawmakers will introduce a bill today (Tuesday, May 24) granting civilians the right to smash car windows if they see a dog trapped inside.
The fast-acting effects of a hot day on a dog are multiplied inside a car—the lawmakers in question even demonstrated these effects on themselves for just 21 minutes. It can take as little as 10 minutes for a dog to succumb to the heat even when temperatures outside are far less than 100 degrees.
The legislation (Assembly Bill 797), named “The Right To Rescue Act,” makes the act of breaking into a car legal if the purpose is to remove a dog in distress.
ABC7 spoke to several people in the Southern California area to get their opinions, and most agree that enacting the bill is the right thing to do. One civilian, Randall Whittinghill, said:
I’d rather have the ability to do it rather than not do it. It’s more important to help the dog than it is to worry about people’s feelings.
Others, like April Rocha, support the idea, but are simultaneously concerned that some individuals may take the “permission” too far, using a dog as an excuse to legally break into a car. “I think it depends on the condition,” she says, “but I think people may take advantage and go extreme.”
California will be one of at least 16 (the numbers are growing) states with laws protecting dogs left in hot cars, and we sincerely hope there are more to follow.