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Massachusetts State Police remind residents about the law and dangers of leaving pets in hot cars

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Please remember that leaving pets in hot cars can be deadly, even with windows open.

If you see a pet in a hot car, call 911 first. Under state law, members of the public can then take action to remove the animal if it is in severe distress and the owner cannot be immediately located.

In July Wareham Police responded to a report of two dogs left in the back of a truck with a cap and no ventilation. When they arrived they too air temperature and surface temperatures and the readings ranged from 101-107 degrees inside the enclosed truck bed.

2 months ago the Fairhaven PD reported getting multiple messages asking about the law and the rights of the person who smashes a window of a hot car where a pet or child is inside:

“If it seems the child or animal is in distress we want you to call 911. If it is an emergency and there truly seems to be no option, do what you have to in order to give the child or animal relief from the heat. Break a window that is away from them only if it is urgent to the point that 2-3 minutes may make the difference of saving their life. Keep in mind the car may be running with air conditioning so check the engine closely.

You may not be charged by the police criminally but the person who owns the property could choose to file a criminal or civil charge against you in court. Sadly, that’s the world we live in.”

Here’s what the law says: https://www.newbedfordguide.com/montigny-anti-cruelty-bill-passes-legislature/2016/08/12

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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