Is It Illegal to Break a Car Window to Rescue a Dog in Longview, Texas?
As we get into the warmer months of the year, we will see an animal locked in a vehicle despite the constant warnings. We will feel pity and want to bust that animal out so it doesn't cook inside that hot vehicle. We will then want to find that owner wherever they are and scold them for putting their animal in danger. There are laws around this very subject but they vary from state to state. So in Longview, Texas, or anywhere in our state, is it legal to break a window to rescue an animal from a hot car? Let's find the answer.
It Quickly Gets Hot in Our Car
As we start to get into the hotter months of the year, we will hear the warnings about leaving our children or our pets in a locked car. It can quickly become dangerously hot in that vehicle. It doesn't have to be 90 degrees outside to heat your car up to dangerous levels, either. Take a look at the graph below:
Even on a 70 degree day, the inside of your car can reach a temperature of 113 degrees within an hour.
In Texas, there is no law about leaving your pets in a locked car in the heat. So yes, if you see an animal locked in a car in the parking lot of Walmart, it is legal to do so. Having said that, that doesn't mean you couldn't be charged with animal cruelty if something were to happen to that animal.
Texas does have a so-called Good Samaritan Act that says,
a person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent.
However, this law DOES NOT apply to breaking a car window to rescue an animal from a hot car.
So what can you do if you feel an animal is in danger in a hot car?
The Human Society of the United States says to write down the car's make, model and license plate number. Then take that information to the manager of the store the car is parked in so they can try to call the owner of the vehicle in the store to make them aware of the situation. If the owner of the vehicle can't be found, you can then call the non-emergency number of your local police or animal control and let them handle the situation from there.
The Solution to the Problem
Here's the best solution, don't bring your pet with you if you plan on leaving them in a hot vehicle. This Texas heat is no joke and can kill our beloved pet or even our child. Despite all these warnings not to do it, we'll still hear of a tragic story of a child or animal dying because they were left in a locked vehicle.