On Saturday, September 24, 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure allowing Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals if they appear to be in danger from excessive heat.
The bill known as AB 797 was introduced after a series of incidents in which dogs died after being left in closed cars on hot days.
Under AB 797, a citizen must first call law enforcement to report a situation in which he or she believes an animal to be in peril.
But if the animal is in imminent danger, the car is locked, and law enforcement is not arriving quickly enough to save the animal’s life, the bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability to a person causing vehicle damage for the purpose of rescuing the animal.
The measure was supported by the Humane Society of the United States and the Los Angeles district attorney's office
I have spoken to numerous police officers on this matter and they all advise to do the following:
1. Take a picture and video if you can of the animal in distress.
2. Take a picture of the license plate of the car in question.
3. Take a picture of the inside of the car and see if they have a temperature gauge in the car.
4. If there is a gauge take a picture of the temperature reading.
5. If there is no gauge in the car, go onto your local weather app and screenshot the time of day and the temperature in that location for purposes of evidence.
6. Call your local animal control agency.
7. Call your local police department to inform them you are breaking the window as so they have it on record