It's a hot day and I see a dog in a car with closed windows. Can I break the windows?

Just as humans can get heat stroke, dogs can too. This raises the question: does someone have a right to break the windows?

Probably not.

Chances are high that breaking someone's window to relieve the panting dog inside will end in a claim for damages to that vehicle. The heroic recognition is not worth it, especially when you could have taken a different route to help the dog.

Your best option is to call the New Brunswick SPCA at 1-877-722-1522. Animal Protection Officers have a right to use force to enter a vehicle if they believe an animal is deprived of reasonable protection in a potential situation of neglect. 

If you are a dog owner, never leave your dog in a vehicle on a hot day. Doing so is considered breaking a law under the NBSPCA Act.

Other provinces have adopted similar legislation. For example, a dog owner in Nova Scotia previously received a fine for leaving 2 dogs in a vehicle. Certain situations may even trigger laws set out in the Criminal Code.

Regardless of the legal implications, it is not wise to leave your dog in a car on a hot day. 

Remy Rosinski, Student-at-Law