It’s heartbreaking to hear and see in the news dogs dying in hot cars. There’s just been too many dog deaths because of this. Leaving your dog even for just a few minutes or even a minute in a parked car can cause serious injury and even death. Heatstroke is not a joke and in just minutes, it can kill your dog. So please, don’t ever leave your dog in a hot car.

dogs in hot cars

Never leave your dog in a hot car.

As a dog owner, you can demand from your local government to make a law that makes it illegal for dogs to be left in hot cars. Doing so can save hundreds of dogs from extreme suffering and or death. So far, in the United States, only 17 states have such a law.

You Might Also Want to Read: 12 Ways to Protect Your Dog from Heatstroke

17 States with Laws that Protect Dogs in Hot Cars

If you’re in Tennessee, you have the option to break the car windows. It’s legal for you to do so. A new law in Tennessee has been passed making it legal to break into hot cars to save animals. Tennessee is the 17th state to have a law protecting dogs and other animals in hot cars.

Here are 16 other states that have laws protecting animals in hot cars.

  1. Arizona – In Arizona, it is illegal to leave an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle when the likely result is the animal getting physically injured or dying. This is stated under Arizona 13-2910
  2. California – In California animals are given the same protection. Under the California Penal Code Section 597.7, it is illegal to leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that puts an animal’s health or well-being in danger due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause an animal suffering, disability or death.
  3. Illinois – Illinois gives the same protection to animals with the Humane Care for Animals Act which states it is illegal to confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that it puts the animal in a life or health threatening situation due to exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, lack of proper ventilation or lack of protection from such heat or cold.
  4. Maine – In Maine as per 7 MRSA § 4019, you can legally break a window if you see that an animal’s safety, health or well being seems to be in immediate danger from heat, cold, or lack of adequate ventilation and the conditions can reasonably be expected to subject the animal to extreme suffering or cause its death.
  5. Maryland – In Maryland, MD Transportation Section 21-1004.1 makes it illegal for a cat or dog to be in a “standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog.”
  6. Minnesota – In this state, a dog or cat can not be left unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog. This is according to MN statute 346.57
  7. North Carolina – NC statute 14.363.3 makes it illegal to confine an animal in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death due to hear, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or other endangering conditions.
  8. Nevada – NRS 574.195 states a cat or dog can not be unattended in a parked or standing motor vehicle during period of extreme heat or cold or in any other manner that endangers the cat’s or dog’s safety or health.
  9. New Hampshire – In New Hampshire, animals are protected by NRS 574.195. “It shall be cruelty to confine an animal in a motor vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is either so high or so low as to cause serious harm to the animal.”
  10. New Jersey –  The state’s Cruelty to Animals law 4:22-26c punishes anyone who “inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, or unnecessarily fail to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather, or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature”
  11. New York – New York’s Animal law § 353-d protects companion animals from being confined in motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection where confinement puts them in imminent danger of death or serious injury due to exposure.
  12. North Dakota – NDCC ST 36-21.1-03.1 makes it illegal for a dog or cat to be left unattended in a stationary or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the animal.
  13. Rhode Island – Rhode Island’s Animal Cruelty Act 2014 S2312A states that – “No owner or person shall confine any animal in a motor vehicle which is done in a manner that places the animal in a life threatening or extreme health threatening situation by exposing it to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.”
  14. South Dakota – In South Dakota a cat, dog or other small animal can not be left unattended in a standing or parked vehicle in a manner that puts the health or safety of the animal in danger ( S D C L § 40-1-36)
  15. Vermont – In Vermont it is illegal to leave an animal unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health or safety of the animal. (Humane and Proper Treatment of Animals 13 V.S.A. § 386)
  16. West Virginia – West Virginia Code §61-8-19E says that leaving an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle when physical injury to or death of the animal is likely to result is a criminal behavior.

Image Credit: k-9angels.org