It amazes me that we learn of another case of animal cruelty during every heatwave with dogs and other helpless animals being left in sweltering cars.
According to N.J.S.A. 4:22-26, it is against the law in New Jersey to leave a living animal or creature:
unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature.
The pathetic fine is "not less than $250 nor more than $1,000."
Do you know what else is also against the law? Rescuing an animal by means of breaking a window or entering the vehicle.
While other states have 'Good Samaritan' laws on the books, New Jersey does not have a law allowing you to save an animal by breaking into a vehicle. In most cases, law enforcement can't even intervene.
I don't know about you, but if I saw a living creature suffocating in a hot car, I'd say "screw the fine (or worse)" and break the window or whatever else I needed to, law or no law. This is what I personally would do. I don't advocate taking that action.
The Humane Society recommends doing the following if you find a creature in a hot car: