Do you ever leave your dog in your car?

There are so many horror stories about people, dogs, and other animals that have been left to die in hot, parked vehicles. Why don’t people learn? (I feel heartbroken if I see this, especially on a hot day. I actually broke into a car once because there was a dog suffering from hot temperatures and was caught in the seat because it’s leash was still on- BT).

It’s illegal to lock an animal in a parked car or other vehicle in 14 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia. Although the types of animals that are protected vary, it’s obviously encouraging news that our pets are protected.

However, in order for the law to be violated, the animal’s life must be in danger from the conditions of the confinement, which include:

  • Extreme hot and cold temperatures
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Failure to provide food and water
  • Other circumstances that could reasonably lead to suffering, disability, or death

    People who knowingly violate the laws can be fined and even incarcerated. In New York, the fine for the first offense is $50 to $100. The steepest fines are proscribed in Vermont, where you can be imprisoned for not more than a year and fined up to $2,000. In West Virginia, you can be fined $300 to $2,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail. North Dakota, Maryland, Nevada, and South Dakota do not provide a penalty for violators. 

Various “rescue provisions” are provided for 11 of the 14 states if a protected animal is found locked in a vehicle. Most of the provisions allow an authorized agent to take any action necessary to rescue it, such as breaking the window. In New York, the rescuer is specifically protected from civil and criminal liability “if they take such action in reasonably good faith.” Fourteen states have laws that regulate and/or prohibit leaving animals locked in cars. Should a pet owner have the right to treat their animals in any way they see fit? Obviously, according to 14 states, the answer is “absolutely not.” Despite the fact that dogs and pets are personal property, there is a public interest in treating that property with respect.

After all, most dog owners do not see their dogs as property, but as loving family members. 


Always leave fresh water and food out for your Dogs and Cats! Summer can be brutal.

Don’t leave in the car or a closed room without ventilation. Please use your brain.

One Response to “Do you ever leave your dog in your car?”

  • I think more pet owners realize that it’s not safe to leave your dog in the car. But unfortunately, I’ve come across a few people who’re completely careless in the regard. It’s certainly dangerous to leave your pets locked in car.

Leave a Reply

Confirm you are human.

Discount on Pet Products

EntirelyPets - Discount Pet Medication

Free Shipping at

Submit your email for Future Connections with MyPetFirst

* Email
First Name
* = Required Field