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Dogs left in cars in heatwave: how to liberate one without risking prosecution
#1
Countless dogs die in heatwaves each year, left in cars whilst their humans go to a shop or other place "for a short while". Death can occur very rapidly, sometimes within 10 to 15 minutes in the case of a car with the windows closed and a severe heat. But how to break the windscreen legally, without risk of prosecution? The laws vary from country to country. I will start the list off with an excellent video from France (in French, but not difficult to follow):

https://actu.orange.fr/societe/videos/me...#plmAnchor

If anyone knows of the legal advice for other countries, please do add to this thread!
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#2
I can't find the part of the video that deals with dogs in cars.

I will do a search for info on the rules about rescuing pets from cars in Canada and the USA. I think it varies province by province and state by state.
In some places it is legal to break in and in some places it is not.
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Catherine

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#3
Oh, no! Orange have changed the video and the article on that page! I will find something else later when I have time. Sorry, Catherine.
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#4
I will do some searching about Canadian rules about rescuing dogs in hot cars. We will both post something soon.
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Catherine

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#5
In USA "Only eight states — California, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and Tennessee — have “Good Samaritan” laws that allow any person to break a car window to save a pet.

California, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin — “Good Samaritans” must first contact law enforcement before breaking into the car in order for their actions to be considered legal."
(Quoted from the website below.)


 MO Law Says You Still CANNOT Break A Window To Save A Dog In A Hot Car | https://awesome923.com/mo-law-says-you-c...m=referral

In UK the law says this: "under the 1971 Criminal Damage Act, someone has a lawful excuse to commit criminal damage if they believe the owner of the property would consent to it under the circumstances. If you do smash a stranger's window in order to save their pet, you must be prepared to defend your actions."
(Quoted from the website below.)

https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/23/can-legal...-10443027/
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#6
The original article on Orange France was replaced and is no longer accessible. So I was forced to look elsewhere. I found these pages (in French):

https://www.lunion.fr/id76138/article/20...-un-animal
and
https://www.20minutes.fr/societe/2550103...al-enferme
and
https://www.fidanimo.com/article/briser-...-ce-legal/

In brief, the recommended action is to call the police (gendarmerie out of town) and ask them to come as an emergency to smash the window. They can do this legally, but could also trace the owner of the car and impose fines for animal cruelty. If there is not enough time, then breaking a window is at your own risk. There is a risk of a criminal or civil case, BUT:

"Néanmoins, l'état de nécessité peut justifier, dans certains cas, le bris d'une vitre pour sauver un animal. D’après l’article 122-7 du Nouveau Code de procédure pénale : "N’est pas pénalement responsable la personne qui, face à un danger actuel ou imminent qui menace elle-même, autrui ou un bien, accomplit un acte nécessaire à la sauvegarde de la personne ou du bien, sauf s’il y a disproportion entre les moyens employés et la gravité de la menace »."

Translation: " Nevertheless, the state of necessity can justify, in certain cases, the breaking of a window to save an animal. According to article 122-7 of the New Code of Criminal Procedure: "A person who, faced with an actual or imminent danger which threatens himself, others or property, performs an act necessary for safeguarding the person or property is not legally responsible, unless there is a disproportion between the means employed and the seriousness of the threat ”.

The quote is from the third article above. Bold print emphasis is mine.
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#7
I read the whole thing in French before I realized you had translated it. I partly understood it. I missed a few finer points because of my limited vocabulary.

Does Canada allow people to break into a car to save a dog in distress.
I will let this petition answer the question.

https://www.change.org/p/the-government-...n-hot-cars


Not only can we not rescue a dog, we can't even rescue a child.
I do think most of us would break a window for a child or a dog.
I can't think that anyone would actually be charged or sued for damages.
Definitely this law needs to be changed.
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Catherine

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#8
I wouldn't care if I was prosecuted I'd smash the window if it meant saving a dog or a childs life,but if there's a legal way to do it quickly I'd try that.
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#9
We are supposed to call 911 first (our emergency number). In most cases that makes sense. However in a dire emergency minutes even seconds count.
There is no way anyone should stand by and watch a dog or a child die.  We need to change the law so Canadians are protected if they do act.
Like you I would not be able to stand by and do nothing.
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Catherine

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