CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A new Virginia law that just took effect on July 1 most likely helped save a dog’s life that was left inside a hot car in Chesterfield on July 31.
Chesterfield Police said Cecilia Anthony left her dog inside her hot vehicle parked outside Chesterfield Towne Center.
They said the dog was in distress, so responding officers broke the vehicle’s window to save the dog’s life.
Anthony was charged with cruelty to animals, and police said her dog appears to be OK.
It’s a situation that dog lover Bryan Davis said is disturbing.
“Why would you leave a dog inside of a car like that? I mean, that’s like leaving a baby inside a car, why would you leave a baby inside a car?” Davis said.
Because of a new Virginia law, first responders were able to break into the car and rescue the dog without worrying about being held liable for any property damage.
“Time is of the essence acting quickly and getting that animal out of there quickly needs to happen, and in some cases that might require breaking the window,” Richmond Animal Control Supervisor Rob Leinberger said.
Leinberger said cars can heat up like ovens in a matter of minutes, so it’s important to rescue the dog as fast as possible.
But, the law does not apply to ordinary citizens, so he recommends calling 911 anytime you see an animal left inside a car on a hot summer day.
“The best thing to do is just call, if you don’t know, just call,” Leinberger said.