Dog In A Heat Trap: Can You Break A Car Window?

Imagine that in the summer you spot a dog in a parked car. You can even break the car window to save the life of the animal and free the dog. But can this be done? What are the possible consequences?

It is read over and over again: “The dog is saved from the heat in the car”, “The police are breaking the window” – some dog owners still do not seem to understand that they endanger the health and life of their animals if they are left alone in the car in the summer …

Then the quick actions of passers-by can literally save lives. In the first step, you should always dial 110 or 112. The police and/or fire brigade then go out to free the four-legged friend from the deadly trap. If the life of the animal is in serious danger, the rescue control center can also give permission to break the car window.

In particular, when the dog is already motionless in the car, it is allowed and “justified to damage property in order to save the animal,” explains Heiko Hecht, a lawyer based in Hamburg.

Break the Car Window to Rescue the Dog: Is There a Threat of Filing a Complaint?

But will an animal rescuer who breaks a car window face the consequences? To do this, you first need to file a criminal case. Here the pet owner will certainly be happy that his dog is doing well.

Even so, pet owners could report rescuers if they felt they were overreacting. However, according to Hecht, if necessary, liability insurance will cover the damage.

It is also important to alert the police and fire department first. The lawyer also advises calling witnesses. For example, you can talk to others and describe the situation to them. “Because at the end of the day, an assessment is made as to whether the damage to the property – breaking a window is justified.” It will then be helpful if other people can testify that this step was necessary to save the dog’s life.

When Should You Break a Car Window?

According to the lawyer, the fire department’s exit time is eight minutes on average. After this time, emergency services should appear on the spot. With this in mind, you may have to wait eight minutes before intervening. For a long time, it is helpless to watch how the animal is tormented in a red-hot car. If, after eight or nine minutes, no one is present or the rescue center gives the go-ahead to intervene, knock down the window.

First Aid to Rescued Dogs

Then it is important: to take the animal into the shade and completely saturate its fur with not too cold water. It is best to start at the paws and then work your way slowly towards your chest, back, and neck. In addition, the dog should always be taken to the veterinarian in the event of heatstroke, preferably in a cool vehicle.

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

If you leave your dog alone in the car and thereby risk his health or even his life, you are violating the Animal Welfare Act. This means that no one should “hurt, suffer, or harm an animal for no good reason.”

How is it that such cases become headlines every summer? “What is missing is sensitization,” says Heiko Hecht. “People just worry that they are not alone in this world.” According to the lawyer, due to a certain tendency towards “loneliness”, many people are highly egocentric.

“If you go through life a little more carefully and perhaps don’t allow yourself to be so distracted, then you can think of the dog as a living being and not forget it in the back seat or in the back seat or in the trunk.”

On the other hand, according to Heiko Hecht, there is no lack of control or strict prosecution. Owners usually face fines for such violations of the Animal Welfare Act. However, some animal rights activists are calling for harsher penalties and animal bans.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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