Illinoisans, Can You Legally Break Into A Hot Car To Rescue A Dog?
Illinois is quickly hitting summer temperatures, which means it's going to be hot inside your closed-up vehicle. Even if it feels decent outside, your car, truck, van, or SUV becomes an oven in a hurry.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says temps in your car can rise 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes. This means if it's only 70 your car will reach 90 degrees on the inside within 10 minutes. This is dangerous for humans and pets, alike.
The extreme heat inside your vehicle will only rise the warmer it is outside. It does not matter if your vehicle is parked in the shade or if the windows are slightly open.
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Leaving a window open is not enough, even with a window cracked open.
With the high temps, there may come a time when you spot a vehicle with a dog inside. The windows might be cracked but that dog is going to be at extreme risk in mere minutes.
Is it illegal to break the window of a hot car to save an animal?
In Wisconsin, if you spot a dog locked in a vehicle you CAN take matters into your own hands up to a certain point. You must contact the authorities first.
“Good Samaritans” must first contact law enforcement before breaking into the car in order for their actions to be considered legal.
If you're in Illinois your only legal option is to call 9-1-1. You do not have the right to take matters into your own hands without risks of legal trouble, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
Only public officials such as law enforcement and humane officers can legally break into a car to rescue an animal.
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