It might seem like a quick trip to you, but even if you don’t think you’ll be gone very long it’s always important to remember: Do not leave any living thing in a car with the windows up and no air conditioning on a hot day. If you do, you may find a few broken windows when you return, like the dog owner who left his two pooches in a hot car.
Two eagle-eyed Panera Bread workers in Beaverton, OR, told police that they spotted a pair of Yorkshire Terriers barking from inside a locked car — with the windows rolled up — parked outside their restaurant, reports KGW.com.
Temperatures outside were around 90 degrees at the time. It only takes a few minutes for the inside of a car to heat up: Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes, with 80% of the increase in temperature happening in the first 10 minutes.
The workers first tried to find the dogs’ owner, and when that failed, one of them broke the window to rescue the pups. It’s legal under Oregon law to break into vehicles to save people and animals, depending on the situation.
The owner of the dogs eventually returned and said he’d been at a nearby Chase Bank opening an account. It’s unclear how long he was gone, but he reportedly admitted to police that it was a “poor choice” to leave his pets — 13- and 2-year-old emotional support animals — behind. He was cited for animal neglect.
Along with Oregon, 25 other states have laws that protect people who break into parked vehicles to save people and domestic animals, according to a study by Michigan State. Colorado joined this group in July, with a new law that exempts people who are “rendering emergency assistance from a locked vehicle” from criminal and civil liability “for any property damage resulting from their forcible entry into that vehicle.”