COLD SPRING -- As the weather gets warmer, all of us need a few summer reminders, wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. But what do you do if you see a dog trapped in a hot car?

A post has been circulating on Facebook stating you can't be charged with criminal damage to property if you break a car window to free a dog from a hot car. However, Cold Spring Police Chief Jason Blum says this could be true, depending on the situation, but it's likely you'll still have some problems.

"I never recommend damaging anyone else's property, granted you can take pictures of how hot it was, that kind of thing. You may not be charged criminally but the owner of the vehicle could pursue you civilly for reimbursement of the damages."

Depending on the severity of the situation, Blum says you can try to find the owner.

"You can check if it's at a business, go into the business and try to find the owner. If it's a bigger business have staff at the business page the owner, to try to come to the vehicle."

Of course calling the police is also an option.

"Here in Cold Spring we have equipment to unlock vehicles without damaging vehicles but it all depends on the situation."

Depending on the temperature outside, the inside of a car on average is 34 degrees warmer after sitting for 30 minutes. Blum says even if you leave your car running with the air conditioning on, it's still not safe.

"I'd recommend not leaving them in the car. You never know, even if it's running, the air conditioner could go out and there's a lot of mechanical stuff that can happen. We don't want to see any animals, any children hurt. It's accidents that can be avoided, so just don't leave anybody in a vehicle."

 

American Bulldog - "Piggy" (Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)