CCSPCA has received 27 calls this year regarding dogs in locked cars. The most recent incident happened last Friday, April 19. Even though Animal Control Officers were immediately dispatched to the scene, the dog had suffered greatly and passed away.
The Central Valley is heating up a lot earlier than usual and it is critical to keep dogs out of locked vehicles. If someone sees a distressed animal in a locked they are allowed to take reasonable steps to remove the animal from harm, so long as they have “reasonable belief that the animal’s safety is in immediate danger.”
Citizens will not face criminal charges if:
- The vehicle is locked & there’s no other way inside
- Forcible entry is necessary if the animal isn’t removed
CCSPCA or Fresno Police Department has been called
- The reporting party stays with the animal until CCSPCA or Fresno Police Department arrives
- No more force than necessary was used to enter the vehicle
- The animal is turned in to CCSPCA or Fresno Police Department
California Penal Code 597.7 states a “person shall not leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal” which includes heat, cold, and lack of ventilation, food, water, or other circumstances that cause suffering, disability, or death.
Those found guilty are subject to a fine and jail time, depending on the severity and number of times convicted.
If animal cruelty is suspected, please call CCSPCA at (559) 233-7722.