Wisconsin’s Hot Car Law Protects Anyone Who Breaks Windows to Save Kids or Pets
It's no position anyone wants to find themselves in- you're walking out of the grocery store; bags in both hands and sweat is dripping down your brow as you walk to your parking spot. Once you get there, with a big sigh of relief, you set down your bags and you look over and notice that there's an adorable Pitbull puppy in the car next to you; you want to ogle and coo but the windows are rolled up. Really? But it's so hot. You look around to see if the owners are nearby; you even listen closely for a moment to see if maybe the engine is running and the A/C is on but you don't hear a thing. You're faced with this awkward decision as to what to do; you don't know exactly how long the dog has been in there so you convince yourself that anyone with a heart would never leave their pet in a hot car for too long and you move on, hoping the owner comes out soon.
This actually happened to me this week and I thought about the puppy for at least 30 minutes after I left that grocery store parking lot; hoping he was ok. But what do you do in that kind of scenario? A lot of people wouldn't hesitate to break that car window if it meant saving a pet or a child's life; others however don't react out of fear- fear of being sued by the car owner, maybe even getting in trouble with authorities...who knows.
A law in Wisconsin is looking to take away that fear. According to WUWM, the Hot Car Law protects anyone who breaks a window to save a child, pet or vulnerable adult from the heat. However, there are some steps you need to take in order to avoid facing civil liability:
- Check to see if the doors are unlocked
- Look to see if an adult responsible for the child or pet is nearby
- If not, call 911, then try to break one of the windows
Follow these steps and you will not face civil liability.
Nice job, Wisconsin.