With temperatures expected to stay in the mid-90s and the heat index climbing over 100 degrees all this week, it's a perfect time to remind people that leaving pets in the car can have deadly consequences.

It's never safe to leave a pet in a car but it's much worse when you're dealing with the heat that comes along with summers in Alabama. Even when temperatures are only 80 degrees outside, it only takes 10 minutes to reach 100 inside the vehicle. Leaving windows cracked has shown to have little effect, so it's best to never leave your pet behind even if it's just for a minute or two.

But what if we come across a pet inside a hot car? Unfortunately, the state of Alabama doesn't have a law that allows you to break the window of someone else's vehicle to get the animal out. There is a proposed bill that could change that but there's no timeline for something actually happening.

So what can you actually do under the current rules? According to the Humane Society, you should take these steps:

  • Take down the car's make, model and license plate number.
  • If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car's owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.
  • If the owner can't be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required.

You might be surprised to find out that Alabama is among the majority when it comes to states that don't have laws that prohibit a person from leaving an animal in a hot car or provide immunity for good Samaritans trying to intervene. There are 28 total states that fall in this category although some have bills on the table.


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