Pennsylvania authorities can now break into cars to save pets

A new law in Pennsylvania means authorities can break into vehicles to rescue animals in distress. The law, known as Act 104 of 2018, went into effect Monday (December 24th.) The law states that authorities (including law enforcement officers, animal control officers, humane society police officers, emergency responders and humane society officers, among others) "are not liable for damage to a motor vehicle or the contents thereof caused by entry into the motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a dog or cat," under certain conditions. Authorities can break in specifically if they have "reasonable belief" the animal is in "imminent danger or suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle," but they are required to take "reasonable effort" to locate the driver before breaking in. The law does not apply to private citizens who break into cars in the name of animal rescue. The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association says that a dog left in a hot car can die in as little as six minutes.

 

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