It takes only minutes to save a life.
On a 78° day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100° in minutes, and on a 90° day, the interior temperature in your vehicle can reach as high as 109° in less than 10 minutes. Leaving a pet locked in a hot car is never a safe bet and when the weather gets warmer, it can be deadly. High temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage and even death to an animal or child. Protecting companion animals and children from unnecessary harm and death is a problem we can all agree to prevent.
During the 2018 legislative session, our organization spearheaded the effort to pass HB 2516 through the Kansas Legislature, working with Representatives, Senators and other allies to build both legislative and public support. This law gives good Samaritans the legal right (under certain conditions) to break a window to help a vulnerable person or animal left in a hot car. The bill passed the Kansas Senate unanimously with a final action vote of 40-0. The bill was signed by Gov. Colyer on April 5th and went into effect July 1st. If you are a Kansas citizen and would like to know your legal right in this situation, please review the Kids and Hot Car Bill for more information.
Do you see a person or animal trapped in a hot car? Before you exercise your legal right to rescue them, please be sure to check the following:
- Is the car locked?
- Is the person or animal suffering in imminent danger?
- Have you notified local law enforcement?
- Are you using reasonable force to break entry?
- Can you remain with the person or animal until law enforcement arrives?
- Is the animal in question domestic? This law does not apply to livestock animals.
This law went into effect on July 1, 2018.
How to help a pet left in a hot car
- 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.
Other ways to help
- Be ready to call for help: Gather essential telephone numbers and have them on hand. You’ll want to have your local animal control agency's number and the police department's non-emergency number so you can quickly report the situation. Keep these numbers in your purse, your car's glove compartment or programmed into your phone.
- Get involved: Ask local store managers, shopping malls, restaurants and other businesses to post signs asking customers not to leave their pets in their cars while shopping or dining. A huge part of the solution to this problem is raising awareness.
Cool outside doesn't mean cool in the car
It doesn't have to be that warm outside for a car to become dangerously hot inside. Here are some facts:
- When it's 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.
- When it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes.
- Rolling down the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car.