If you saw a dog locked inside a car on a hot day, would you break the window to rescue the suffering animal? There have been too many cases of dogs and other pets that have died because of their owners' negligent and abusive conduct. Now, however, the State of California protects you if you save an animal that's trapped in a hot vehicle. This fall Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 797, which shields you from any civil or criminal liability for material damage if you have to rescue a dog from another person's car.
It's important to keep in mind that you should first call law enforcement and tell them you believe the animal is in danger. If authorities don't arrive on the scene quickly enough, though, you have the right under the law to take reasonable action to save the animal's life. Dogs are known as man's best friend, and it's easy to see why: they help us in our work, protect us if we're in danger and keep us company when we're lonely or sad. Our animal companions deserve better - so it's good news that we can act to prevent abuse and promote their well-being.