If you saw a dog or a cat in a hot car on a summer day, what would you do? If you would smash the window, you could get yourself in trouble.

Let's start off by saying, there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse to leave a dog or any other animal in the car with the windows up on a hot day.

Many good samaritans' first instinct is to just break the window and free the animal. Unfortunately, you must know your state laws, if you plan on doing that.

There are 29 states that have some sort of 'hot car' laws that prohibit leaving a companion animal unattended in a parked vehicle, though the laws differ drastically from place to place.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, there are only eight states where "good samaritan" laws which allow any person to break a window to rescue a pet. In six of those states, the good samaritan must contact law enforcement prior to breaking the window in order for their actions to be considered legal.

New York is not one of those eight states. However, New York is one of 19 states where only public officials such as law enforcement and humane officers can legally break into a car to rescue an animal.

If you find a dog or animal locked in a hot car, call 911 immediately, as it is the first step to saving the animal's life.

So, what would you do?

Would you call 911 or break the window?

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