Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Smashing car windows to rescue pets and children now legal

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BATON ROUGE - Hot cars mean hot dogs, and up until recently all you could do was call police for help. Now, you can take action without prosecution. 

Louisiana joined about a dozen states that have the 'Good Samaritan Law.'

According to the act, if the vehicle is off and locked and you believe an animal to be in imminent danger, you can follow these steps:

-Once you've determined that the owner is nowhere in sight, the first thing you need to do is call authorities or your local animal control.

-Now you can break the window and free the dog. Then you must leave a note with your contact information, why you broke into the car, and that you've contacted local authorities.

-Lastly, you need to take the animal out and sit with it somewhere safe until help arrives.

Hilton Cole with East Baton Rouge Animal Control says there has been a similar law for animal control officers in place for years, although he is happy that regular people can now help, he has some concerns.

"It could be used for nefarious business and maybe the wrong thing," Cole said. 

It's important to note that the law does not protect the person from any injury the animal may receive, and if police determine the pet was not in immediate danger, you could be fined.

"Wearing a badge and doing something like that is one thing, having a citizen do it may be a little risky business," said Cole.

Luckily, Cole says it's not something that happens often. He says in the last ten years, his animal control officers have shattered a window only once. 

The law only applies to cats, dogs, and children. 


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