With temperatures are set to reach highs of over 35 degrees Celsius in some parts of the UK, can you smash a car window if a dog is in inside is on a lot of minds. Sadly, however much ‘dogs die in hot cars’ is shouted, some people are still taking dogs out in cars in soaring temperatures.
Pet insurer Direct Line has revealed that a fifth of dogs have suffered from heatstroke in the past and are reminding dog owners to take extra precautions in the hot weather because dogs need plenty of fresh air and water during the heat and should not be left unattended in parked cars.
The San Francisco State University found that when the outside air temperature is 35 degrees Celsius, the inside of a car can heat up to 45 degrees within just 10 minutes and 54 degrees in 30 minutes. This can be catastrophic for dogs who are at risk of heatstroke, and in some cases, this can be fatal.
Even when the sun goes down, drivers should take extra care as when the temperature is a much lower 21 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to above 40 degrees in just half an hour.
So can you legally smash a car window to save a dog inside?
The RSPCA’s official advice is to call 999 and ask for police assistance.
While there are some exceptions, if, for example, you believe the owner of the car would consent to you acting to save their pet’s life, the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 states that only an official has the power to enter premises to assist an animal in need. So be prepared to defend your actions if you smash a window as you could be prosecuted under the 1971 Criminal Damage Act.