Illinois’ Law on Breaking Into Hot Cars To Save A Dog
The Rockford area is quickly hitting summers 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. So, if it's 70 (the forecasted high this weekend) your car will reach 90 degrees on the inside within 10 minutes. The extreme heat inside your vehicle will only rise the warmer it is outside, regardless of parking in the shade or leaving windows 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. What do you do? What CAN you do? What can be done legally? 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 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.
In Wisconsin, it's a different story. If you spot a dog locked in a vehicle you CAN take matters into your owns hands up to a certain point. You must contacts authorities first.
“Good Samaritans” must first contact law enforcement before breaking into the car in order for their actions to be considered legal.