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When Can You Break A Window To Save A Dog In A Hot Car?

LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi man is on a mission to save animals trapped inside hot cars after he witnessed an incident and shot video of it.

Paul Wood thought about breaking a stranger's car window to potentially save a pet's life. He witnessed two dogs sitting in a hot car Tuesday afternoon for close to two hours.

"I think it's ridiculous how many people either forget or they are irresponsible. How many pets die every single day?" he said.

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Police dispatch in Lodi told Wood there was nothing they could do because the driver did leave the windows partially open. Also, the dogs didn't seem to be in any distress.

"If I saw them panting or tearing up the upholstery, no doubt about it, I would have broken the windows and got them out," said Wood.

Wood calling police was the right thing to do, according to Animal Services officers. They said no animals should be left inside a hot car when the temperature is over 75 degrees. It can cause pets to be distressed, or even die.

"When 80 degrees rolls around is when it becomes a big concern because the temperature rises very quickly so, it can go from 80 to 100 [degrees] in the car real quick," said officer Jordan Kranich, Animal Services.

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A concerned citizen should only break a person's car window to save a pet that is in distress or not responding. Otherwise, they could be legally responsible for damage to private property. They must also remain at the scene and first contact law enforcement.

The video of the incident is intended to teach others an important lesson.

"Be responsible. They should be taken care of, they depend on us as their owners," said Gena Brent, who lives in Lodi.

Officers say a person can be charged with a felony for leaving their pet too long inside a hot car, face jail time and can even lose the right to own an animal.

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