dogs in car window

On Saturday September 24th, 2016, Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law, AB 797, protecting citizens who break a car window to save a dog or other trapped animal from dying in a hot car. The new law makes it legal for bystanders to break the window of a car if there’s no other way to rescue an animal locked inside, without the fear of criminal prosecution. “The bill would exempt a person from civil liability for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle if the property damage or trespass occurred while the person was rescuing an animal pursuant to these provisions.”

Is Breaking a Car Window to Save a Dog Legal?

Yes – In California it is legal to break a car window to save the life of a dog or animal in distress due to heat. In order to be relieved of civil responsibility and criminal prosecution, the good Samaritan who breaks the window must wait for authorities to arrive and it must be clear that the animal was in imminent danger with no other option of rescue.

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