Skip to main content

New Law Allows Samaritans to Rescue Animals and Children From Parked Cars

Aug 13, 2018 02:37PM

(LA Radio Network) It is now legal in Louisiana to rescue a pet or a minor from a locked, parked vehicle, by smashing a window to get in. The new law went into effect on the first of the month and provides criminal and civil protection for good Samaritans who take action against the illegal activity. Louisiana SPCA spokesperson, Alicia Haefele, says there are two things you need to do before breaking that window.

“Call out for the owner, if they don’t respond, you call 911 before you do anything else. Authorities will send someone out to you, and then you can gain access to that vehicle.”

However, there are some restrictions you need to keep in mind before you bail a baby out of a bad situation.

“First, you need to display some restraint when damaging the vehicle,” said Haefele. “Use reasonable force, so don’t smash in all four windows to get the animal out, try every door handle to make sure the car is not unlocked.”

Second, be smart about it. Don’t break a window the animal or child is near. If you are to harm either, you are liable for any harm caused. Choose the furthest possible window from the child and be sure to shoo the dog away before breaking in.

According to the new law, temperature does not dictate legality. If it is too cold, or too hot, a Good Samaritan has the right to break into a care to save a child or animal.