Alabama legality for saving pets in hot vehicles

Although Alabama law makes it illegal to leave a dog in a hot car- what kind of protections do people have in the attempt to save an animal in that situation? WAAY31 found what what people can do to save an endangered pet in a hot vehicle.

Posted: Jul 6, 2018 6:41 PM

In the time it takes to call police or animal control to save a pet locked in a hot vehicle, it might be tempting to break the window, but law makers I spoke to say it's not likely you will faces criminal charges but the vehicle owner can sue you in civil court for damages.

Mike Fritz, Director of Madison County Animal Control, told WAAY that this time of year Animal Control gets calls about pets in hot cars once or twice a month. He's worked for Animal Control for 27 years, and also told WAAY that in that time actually finding a dog in a hot care is extremely rare. 

"Generally they've already left by the time we're able to get there," said Fritz.

Shannon Siegel, Huntsville Humane Society, says the best thing to do is call police and then stay with the car.

"When the police come they'll need to know which vehicle to go to and if you walk away its a very timely situation and there's time lost in rescuing the dog"

Fritz says pet owners need to be more careful in this hot weather and suggests that owners just leave them at home when running errands.

WAAY31 also spoke with State Representative Mike Ball on the phone and he told us he thinks expanding Good Samaritan laws to include protection of pets in hot vehicles will be a topic among Alabama lawmakers this session.

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