It's toasty outside and we want to help our animals stay cool.

Sometimes we've seen it play out in real life: you're leaving the store, stomping back to your car in 90% humidity. It's hot, you're sweaty, and you glance at a nearby car. You see a pup in it, with rolled-up windows and the car isn't running.

You may think the same I do: smash the window so the pup can breathe. Or go back into the store to try to find the owner so they can help the dog. But legally speaking, what can you actually do?


Yes, we know this is the kind of common sense people should have in the first place before they get a pet. You don't leave it in the car by itself, really ever, but especially when it's hot outside.

For Illinois, no you can't just smash the glass. The state law recommends that you call first responders before trying to take action yourself.

Iowa Does Not Have A "Good Samaritan" Law

Animal Legal Defense Fund says several states do allow concerned citizens to break into cars to help rescue a dog who is trapped. Iowa is not one of those states. Legally speaking, you can't just break a car window to help a dog in Iowa. 

Animal Law doesn't specify if Iowa has laws in place that do not allow leaving animals in parked cars in the first place but obviously, it's not a good idea to do, especially in hot weather since the car interior gets even hotter than the outside temp.

I See A Pup Alone In A Car. Now What?

The Humane Society of North Iowa told KCCI that if you come across a dog stuck in a car in Iowa, check to see if the car is running and take down the car's license info. If it's not running, call law enforcement to come get the animal. If the dog is in imminent danger, the humane society recommends using your own judgment on whether or not to break a window but remember the legal ramifications of it.

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