Wisconsinites: Here’s What You Can Do If You See A Dog In A Hot Car
Summer is in full swing and 80s are in the forecast for the rest of the week.
While the warm temperatures are great in general, they do come with some cause for concern. Sometimes, animals are left in a car on a warm and sunny day and things can turn deadly if the conditions are right.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? It depends where you live.
Minnesotans are instructed to call law enforcement if a cat or dog is inside a hot car and they will take it from there. Pet owners face a small $25 fine if they leave their pet inside their vehicle on a hot day.
Things are different for Wisconsinites, though. Wisconsin has something called a "Good Samaritan" hot car law, which allows citizens to take matters into their own hands if they find themselves in the situation to do so.
According to state statute, a person is "immune from civil liability for property damage or injury that results from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle" if all of these factors are true:
- You have "good faith belief" that the animal was in danger or was suffering bodily harm and must be removed from the vehicle to stop it.
- The vehicle was locked and the only way in was forcible entry.
- You called 911 and/or contacted law enforcement of some kind before breaking into the car.
- You remain with the animal until law enforcement arrives.
- You only used as much force as was necessary.
- If you had to leave the scene, you left your contact information on the windshield of the vehicle.
The only caveat is that this only applies to a domestic animal - so a dog, car or any other kept as a household pet. This doesn't apply to a farm animal.
There are many factors that fall under the statute but overall, they are clear and concise and basically all common sense. Hopefully, no one ever runs into this situation but in case you do, it is best to be prepared.