Summer is just about here and we’ve already seen many hot days. The Westfield Police Department has already fielded countless calls about animals left in vehicles on a warm day. Please take a look at the chart pictured here and understand that leaving Fido home on a warm day may be the best option for him. Even on a day that is comfortable outside, it can get hot very quickly inside a closed vehicle.
If you see an animal in a closed vehicle you think may be in distress, Massachusetts did enact a law allowing you to enter the vehicle to help it. HOWEVER, there are some steps you MUST follow prior to entering someone’s vehicle:
1.You must make every effort to find the owner of the vehicle first. 2.You must notify the police department or call 911.3.You must use the most reasonable means available to enter the vehicle. In other words, if the vehicle is unlocked, you can’t smash the window! 4.You must have a good faith and REASONABLE belief, based on the circumstances, that the animal is in imminent danger of harm.5.If you do make entry, you must remain with the animal until law enforcement or another first responder arrives.
Please use common sense both when taking your dog in a vehicle where you may have to leave it unattended, and also before entering someone else's car to assist an animal that is not yours.