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New Law Allows First Responders in Pennsylvania to Break Into Your Car to Save Pets

HARRISBURG, Pa. — It just became easier for first responders to save pets in cars. A new Pennsylvania law took effect Wednesday allowing police, firefight...

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- It just became easier for first responders to save pets in cars.

A new Pennsylvania law took effect Wednesday allowing police, firefighters and humane society officers to break into your vehicle to save animals in distress.

The law does state that before breaking into a vehicle, the rescuer must:

  • Have a reasonable belief that the dog or cat is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.
  • Make a reasonable effort to locate the driver of the motor vehicle prior to entry.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure or restore the well-being of the dog or cat.
  • Use no more force than necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle.
  • Leave notice on or in the motor vehicle stating the reason entry was made, the name of the person and of the person's employer, a telephone number and, if possible, the location where the dog or cat may be retrieved.