Chat with the Police Chief: Pets in Hot Cars

Temperatures inside a vehicle can skyrocket even when the windows are cracked or open. In this episode, learn how a civilian can render aid to a distressed animal by contacting law enforcement, who are only a few short minutes away, or in special circumstances, by forcibly entering the vehicle.

[Related: Hot Car Could be Death Sentence for Fido]

State Statute 895.484  Civil liability exemption; entering a vehicle to render assistance.
(1)  In this section:
(a) “Domestic animal” means a dog, cat, or other animal that is domesticated and kept as a household pet, but does not include a farm animal, as defined in s. 951.01 (3).
(b) “Vehicle” means a motor vehicle, or any other vehicle, that is used to transport persons or cargo and that is enclosed.
(2) A person is immune from civil liability for property damage or injury that results from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle if all of the following are true:
(a) A person or a domestic animal was present in the vehicle and the actor had a good faith belief that the person or domestic animal was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm unless he or she exited or was removed from the vehicle.
(b) The actor determined that the vehicle was locked and that forcible entry was necessary to enable the actor to enter the vehicle or to enable the person or domestic animal to be removed from or to exit the vehicle.
(c) The actor dialed the telephone number “911″ or otherwise contacted law enforcement, emergency medical services, or animal control before he or she forcibly entered the vehicle.
(d) The actor remained with the person or domestic animal until a law enforcement officer, emergency medical service provider, animal control officer, or other emergency medical responder, as defined in s. 256.01 (4p), arrived at the scene.
(e) The actor used no more force than he or she reasonably believed necessary to enter the vehicle in order to remove the person or domestic animal or to allow the person or domestic animal to exit the vehicle.
(f) If the actor left the scene before the owner or operator of the vehicle returned to the scene, the actor placed a notice on the windshield of the vehicle that included his or her name, telephone number, and mailing address, the reason he or she entered the vehicle, and the location, if known, of the person or domestic animal when the actor left the scene

Hot Car could be Death Sentence for Fido