PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A recently passed law will now allow police officers and firefighters in Pennsylvania to break into hot or cold cars to save animals.
Known as Act 104 of 2018, the new law was approved and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on Oct. 24 and went into effect on Christmas Eve.
The updated law includes a new section that enables emergency responders to break into hot or cold cars to rescue dogs or cats.
The law states that the first responder must have “good-faith, reasonable belief that the dog or cat is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.”
An important part of the law includes that the emergency responder will not be liable for the damage done to a vehicle for the purpose of removing a dog or cat.
According to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, it only takes 5-10 minutes for a pet to get heatstroke in a hot vehicle and it only takes up to 6 minutes for a dog to die in extreme heat when left in a vehicle.
The law does not extend to private citizens.