“After yesterday’s post regarding pet safety, I have been asked to post the regulations regarding what a bystander can do if you see a pet unattended in a vehicle.
Massachusetts Law Chapter 140 Section 174 F.
Section (e) After making reasonable efforts to locate a motor vehicle’s owner, a person other than an animal control officer, law enforcement officer or firefighter shall not enter a motor vehicle to remove an animal to protect the health and safety of that animal in immediate danger unless the person:
1. Notified law enforcement or calls 911 before entering vehicle.
2. determines that the motor vehicle is locked or there is no other means of exit and uses not more force than reasonably necessary to enter the motor vehicle and remove the animal.
3. has a good faith and reasonable belief, based upon known circumstances, that entry into the vehicle is reasonably necessary to prevent imminent danger to harm the animal.
4. and remains with the animal in a safe location in reasonable proximity to the vehicle until law enforcement or another first responder arrives…….. (f) A person who removes an animal from a motor vehicle pursuant to this sub section shall be immune from criminal or civil liability that might otherwise result from the removal.
So to shorten that I would say the following: If you locate an animal in a vehicle unattended you need to first call the police. If the animal seems in desperate need of attention and you feel that immediate removal of the animal is necessary to prevent serious medical problems for that animal you may remove the animal. Check first if the doors are unlocked and at last resort the window can be broken if the animal is in desperate need to be free from the vehicle.” -Fairhaven Police.