Palm Springs, CA
Thirty eight-year-old Brent White of Palm Springs was arrested and faces a felony and misdemeanor charge after his dog Xander died inside his car. Police say White left his dog inside his car for hours.
"He was at the location to visit a friend … left his dog in his vehicle for several hours with the windows rolled up on a 70 degree day without water and with no AC," says Palm Springs Police Sergeant William Hutchinson adding it doesn’t take long for a pet to suffer serious injury or death inside a car, even in mild temperatures, "seventy degree temperatures may be outside but when you when you start rolling the windows up those temperatures can easily escalate and start climbing well over 85, 90, 100 degrees."
That’s why the Right to Rescue Law protects a person who breaks a car window to save a pet in distress.
"As long as they follow a series of steps some of those mean you contact law enforcement or you see that the dog or animal is in immediate danger … it does allow civilians to break a window and they’re immune from civil and criminal liability as a result," says Hutchinson.
In addition to making sure the animal is in distress and calling police before damaging property to rescue a pet, the law says you must:
-Check for an unlocked door.
-Not use more force than necessary to rescue a pet.
-Stay with the pet until police arrive.
In this case someone did call police but it was too late.
Police say this tragic case should serve as a warning.
"It’s very sad for this animal … they have to be treated just like a regular member of the family and if you don’t exercise that care we have laws in place and people will be held accountable," says Hutchinson.