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Hot Cars Can Harm Dogs, Know Your Legal Rights

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Media Release: June 12, 2017

Temperatures in cars increase a more rapidly than most people think. In just 10 minutes the car temperature can rise 19 degrees and in 30 minutes the temperature can rise 34 degrees. So on an 80°F day in just 10 minutes the temperature in a car can rise to 99°F and in 30 minutes the temperature can rise to 114°F. If you find a dog confined in a vehicle please call Animal Control or Law Enforcement immediately. If Animal Control or Law Enforcement cannot respond in a reasonable amount of time and you feel like you need to take immediate action Colorado House Bill 17-1179 gives you an options. House Bill 17-1179 provides legal immunity for a person who renders emergency assistance to a dog in a locked vehicle. However, certain requirements and a procedure need to be followed upon acting on behalf of House Bill 17-1179. The person who is acting on behalf to the house bill must follow the following procedure:

  1. Determine if the vehicle is locked and the animal is in imminent danger of death or bodily injury and forcible entry is necessary to save the animal.
  2. The person makes a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the vehicle and documents color, make, model, license plate number, and the location of the vehicle.
  3. The person contacts Law Enforcement or a 911 operator prior to forcibly entering the vehicle and does not interfere with, hinder, or fail to obey a lawful order of any person duly empowered with Police Authority.
  4. The person uses no more force than he or she believes is reasonably necessary and the person rendering assistance and remains with the animal, reasonably close to the vehicle until Law Enforcement arrives.

Failure to follow these steps can lead to criminal charges being brought up against you. If you are the owner of a vehicle, with a dog confined in it, certain criminal charges can be brought up against you for abandonment, animal abuse, and inhumane treatment. If you leave your dog confined in a vehicle and the dog dies you can be charged with a class 6 felony for aggravated cruelty to animals. Do not leave your dog confined in a vehicle.

Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedHealthHot TopicsLaw EnforcementMedia ReleasePolice ReportPublic SafetyTransportationWeather

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