While many of us welcome the warmer weather this time of year, we must remind ourselves that some of our loved ones may find themselves in an uncomfortable predicament. It could even result in their death.
We are speaking about our pets who accompany many of us on our trips and errands in a motor vehicle. We should never leave our pet unattended in a parked car. On warm days, and even cloudy days, the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels in minutes, even with the windows cracked open.
The brief stop we plan to make at the store could stretch to 15 minutes or more before we know it. Our mistake could cost our pet its life. Leaving the windows cracked won’t cool the car enough to protect our beloved pet, even if we have made water available.
In June of 2017, Governor Kate Brown signed into law House Bill 2732 to protect dogs left in hot cars. (And children!). Oregon was the 11th state to pass such a Good Samaritan Law, which provides that anyone – not just law enforcement – may enter a vehicle (by force or otherwise) to remove an unattended domestic animal without fear of civil or criminal liability. If you come upon a scenario like above where you believe an animal could perish, please contact our dispatch center at 541-265-0777 before deciding to enter the vehicle. Be ready to convey your location, the vehicle description, and a description of you. Our Animal Service Deputies will make every effort to respond quickly.
If you determine that more immediate life-saving action is necessary, please ensure that you:
- Have a reasonable belief that the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.
- Notify law enforcement or emergency services either before or soon after entering the vehicle.
- Use only the minimum force necessary to enter the vehicle.
- Stay with the animal until law enforcement, emergency services, or the owner or operator of the vehicle arrives.