Fact vs. Fiction: Rescuing animals from hot cars

Fact vs. Fiction: Rescuing animals from hot cars

Viral posts have been circling social media, giving step-by-step instructions on how to legally break into a car to rescue animals.

But Idaho State Police say, don't believe everything you read on the internet.

"There are some states where you can break into a car to save a dog, Idaho is not one of them," said Bill Gardiner, Regional Captain for Idaho State Police.

Twenty-four states have laws that either prohibit leaving animals in confined spaces like cars, or provide immunity to rescue an animal in need.

But in most places in Idaho, it's best to call for help.

"If you come across an animal that looks distressed in a hot car, your very first action should be to call 9-1-1," Captain Gardiner said.

There is a law in Ketchum that allows police to rescue dogs trapped in hot cars, but the biggest tip for animal owners when it's hot out: leave your pets at home.

"One thing that we know, that's a fact is that on a 90-degree day it takes less than 10 minutes for the inside of that car to get to 160 degrees you know and in some cases that's what you're baking food at," Gardiner said.

If you think an animal is being mistreated, you can call animal control.

"If you see one, know that if it is above 70 degrees animal control will come out and do a welfare check," said Allison Maier. spokesperson for the Idaho Humane Society.

Even though you shouldn't break a window if you see an animal in need, you can still take action.

Police will come immediately or talk you through what to do to help the animal.

So, don't take legal advice from a viral post; different states and countries have different laws.