Despite this topic being discussed every single year, we still have a problem.

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A lot of pet owners know this but it is extremely dangerous to leave your dog in the car -- especially when it is hot outside and even when its NOT that hot out.

Did you know that if it is 75 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to 94 degrees in just 10 minutes?

There have also been dogs who have passed away even when the car's air conditioner is left on because the area is not properly ventilated.

Dangerous numbers...and yet...

According to, "hundreds of dogs die each year due to heat exhaustion because they are left in hot vehicles." This is according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

So what do you do if you stumble upon a dog trapped in a car? And is it legal to break into a car to save a dog? 

The answer is infuriating and needs to be changed in New Jersey.

If you planned on breaking the car window to rescue the dog, just know some serious consequences come with it.


According to, "there is no 'hot car' law in New Jersey [and] no one has the authority to break into a vehicle to save the pet - not even law enforcement."

Wait, it gets even more confusing.

According to, "Police can still seize the animal and arrest the owner, because it's illegal."

So the police can make an arrest but not rescue a living thing that desperately needs rescuing? How?
If you DO break the window anyway, "you could be facing a criminal mischief charge which comes with a sentence of up to 18 months in prison."
On top of it, animals are considered property so theft, trespassing and burglary charges could be thrown into the mix. The pet owner could also sue for any damage done to the vehicle.
Trunk fighting animal cruelty NJ law
(Getty Stock)
You BEST believe I would still be breaking that window. It makes me sad there are no laws in place to protect the helpless animal.
What you CAN legally do is ask nearby businesses to page the pet owner and if the dog is in distress, call law enforcement or animal control.

Nineteen other states in this country have good Samaritan laws in place and New Jersey needs to be added to this list.

A human can legally be rescued, then so should our pets.

If you agree, contact your legislature because that is the first step to getting this rule changed.

For the fur babies!

10 Exotic Animals That Are Legal To Own In New Jersey

Who woulda thought?

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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