Is It Legal To Break A Car Window To Rescue A Dog In New York State?
There is an extreme heat warning in most of New York State today. Heat Index Values are expected to be in the 90s and 100s. Governor Hochul issued a warning to residents to make sure they stay safe in the heat. Some people think heat warnings are exaggerations, but heat stroke is real and it can quickly kill people and pets alike. That's why it's important to not only look out for yourself and your family today but also make sure your fur baby is safe.
According to The Humane Society of The United States,
Leaving pets locked in cars is never safe. But when the weather gets warmer, it can be deadly. High temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage and even death. Protecting animals from an unnecessary death is a problem we can all agree to prevent.
Much Of New York State Will Experience Extreme Heat Today
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said,
The effects of high heat and humidity over the course of a few days create dangerous conditions that can lead to heat stress and illness. New Yorkers should do their best to stay indoors and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you choose to exercise or have to work outside, try to do so in the early morning or evening hours when the sun is down, and temperatures are not as extreme.
With the extreme heat warnings in place for today and tomorrow (for some areas of the state), it's important to make sure you don't leave your dog in the car. Even a few minutes can become deadly for an animal left in a hot car.
According to New York Agriculture and Markets Law § 353-d,
Confinement of companion animals in vehicles: extreme temperatures. 1. A person shall not confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure to such extreme heat or cold.
Can A Person Legally Break A Car Window To Save An Animal In New York State?
NO! But, if you see an animal suffering, you can call for help, as certain people are allowed to break a window.
Where the operator of such a vehicle cannot be promptly located, a police officer, peace officer, peace officer acting as an agent of a duly incorporated humane society, emergency medical services personnel, paid firefighter, or volunteer firefighter who in the performance of such volunteer firefighter's duties are directed to respond to a call for assistance for such animal may take necessary steps to remove the animal or animals from the vehicle.
Any of the people listed above are protected from criminal or civil litigation due to their actions to free the pet. Any person who leaves their companion animal in an unsafe vehicle can receive a fine, according to New York State law,
Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of subdivision one of this section shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for a first offense, and a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred and fifty dollars for a second and subsequent offenses.
You should also check out what New York law says about leaving your dog outside today during the heatwave.