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Is it legal to smash a car window to save a dog trapped inside on a hot day

todayJune 16, 2022 1

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It’s a dreadful situation you’d hope you never find yourself in. But sadly, despite repeated warnings, many irresponsible dog owners continue to leave their pets in the car on baking hot days.

Distressed dogs have died after being left trapped in vehicles which quickly soar to intense temperatures. But what’s the legal position if you spotted a dog stuck in a car?

Breaking in to a ca can be classed as criminal damage, even if it’s done with the right intentions. But there is a defence and you can actually legally commit criminal damage in certain circumstances. This is if you reasonably believed the owner of the car would have consented, knowing the dog was in danger.

Read more: Dog owners warned of heatstroke signs as UK temperatures set to rise

The RSPCA says: “First, assess the dog’s condition. If they’re showing any signs of heatstroke dial 999 at once.

“If the dog’s condition is critical, and the police haven’t arrived yet, your instinct will be to break into the car to free them. But please be aware that this could be classed as criminal damage. You may need to defend your actions in court, so please be sure you’re doing the right thing.

“Legally, you can commit damage if you believe the car owner would consent to it if they knew the dog was in danger. If you’re sure you need to free the dog, tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take photos or videos of the dog. Are there any other witnesses? Take their names and telephone numbers.

“Don’t be afraid to dial 999. If it’s an emergency, we may not be able to get to you – and the dog – quickly enough. And as we have no powers of entry, we’d need to ask the police to help us rescue the dog. Don’t worry – the police will soon let us know if the dog needs our help.”

The RSPCA adds: “Work out how long the dog has been in the car. A pay and display ticket may help. Make a note of the car’s registration. If the owner returns but you still feel they’d put the dog in danger, you can tell the police. Make sure you, or someone else, stays with the dog. Monitor their condition. If they get worse be prepared to call 999.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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