OOOO this thought just crossed my mind, too.
If you really want the police to get there in a hot second… tell them there’s a baby in the car. I guarantee they’ll be there faster than you can say “…you must have misunderstood me…”
Technically, it is not legal for you to break into someone else’s car for any reason. But in most of the cases I’ve heard of, the owner of the dog was the one who ended up getting into trouble, with no legal action against the rescuer.
In most states, animal cruelty is becoming more and more punished by law. As long as you had proof of why you were breaking into the car, It’s pretty unlikely that you would end up with much more than a fine.
Don’t forget that your local Animal Control is also able to legally remove the dog from the car. I would call both Animal Control and the police. Also, you’re more likely to get a prompt response from the police if you have your local police phone number on hand, as opposed to going through 911 (tips and tricks from someone who lives in a neighborhood where kids like to egg peoples cars lol).
If neither show before the dog starts to seem quite distressed, like Annie said, make sure you have witnesses (preferably people you don’t know) who agree that the dog needs to be released, if you have a phone or camera, take a quick picture or video of the dog as further proof that it’s distressed, and do what you have to free the dog from the car.
Just remember that even then, it IS possible that legal action COULD be taken against you, however unlikely. But I would pay a fine to save a dog any day.
It depends on where you are, but we recommend following these steps if you see a dog in a hot car:
-Take down the car’s color, model, make, and license-plate number.
-Have the owner paged in nearby stores, and call local humane authorities or the police.
-If the police are unresponsive or take too long to arrive and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment. Take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for the authorities to arrive.