Majority favor allowing citizens to break dogs out of hot cars - 250 participants

Jun 30, 2016

It is a misdemeanor to lock a pet in a cold or hot car in New Hampshire. However, only a law enforcement officer or agent of a licensed humane organization may break into a car to free a pet. Read more about this issue. On June 30, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH allow citizens to break animals out of hot cars?”

“Should NH allow citizens to break animals out of hot cars?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Dogs in Hot Cars NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 250 participants gave 704 responses

A total of 84% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 16% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 704 responses from 250 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A majority, at 66% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of allowing citizens to break car windows to rescue an animal in distress.

  • "I have already yelled at people whose dogs are in a hot car crying. This is disgraceful and should be addressed. Break the window law needs to be in NH.”
  • “If I see a dog in a hot car I'm smashing the window.”
  • “I would think a life of an animal is worth more than a broken window.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 34%, opposed allowing citizens to break car windows to rescue an animal in distress.

  • “I see this easily being abused. There are several factors and alternatives to be taken into consideration before destroying someone's property.”
  • “Enforce the laws for leaving them in the car in the first place.”
  • “You break into that car, you don't know if that dog is a flight risk or bites. You could get bit or end up getting that dog killed for sure. Just call the cops.”

Other: As noted above, 16% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Whether dogs should be in cars at all: “I don't see why anyone would feel a need to take their dog to do errands in the summer, anyway. Leave your dog at home.”
  • Possible risks and provisions of a law: “May lead to dogs being stolen while pretending to free them from heat… The law should require the window breaker to stay with the car until released by [the] owner or police.”
  • Whether this should be a legislative issue: “Why is it the state that decides? I will make my own decision if I see something I think requires drastic measures. And I will answer for my actions with the owner.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think citizens should be able to break car windows to rescue an animal in distress? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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