Can You Break A Window To Rescue A Pet In Utah?
There you are, in the St. George Target parking lot on a summer day.
As you are about to get into your own hot car, you hear some muffled barking nearby. The car next to you has a dog left alone in the car.
The windows are partially rolled down, but even then you can tell the dog is not enjoying the temperature. What do you do? Is there anything that can be done?
The first question that needs to be asked is: Is it illegal to leave a pet in a parked car in the heat?
Upon doing some research, I found that there are 31 states that have laws that make it illegal to leave a pet in a parked car (if the conditions are dangerous).
Unfortunately, Utah is NOT one of those states.
In fact, Utah doesn't even protect a person who may rescue an animal from a hot car from being sued.
So if breaking the window or taking the dog out of the car is not an option, is there anything that can be done?
In my opinion, putting a pet in any dangerous situation is wrong. I often wonder why someone would do such a thing, especially in a hot climate like St. George.
According to People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals, Hundreds of pets die each year in cars, and most of the deaths go unreported.
According to the Humane Society of Utah:
When it's 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.
When it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes.
Rolling down the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car.
Although you are NOT LEGALLY ALLOWED to rescue the animal yourself, there are some things that can, and should be done.
Calling the police or local animal control is a good step. If the pet is at risk, they are legally allowed to step in and rescue the pet.
If you are in a store parking lot, see if they can make an announcement to find the owner and make them aware of the dangers.
But perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is this:
Need more convincing? Check out this Video from the Utah Humane Society