Q. I’m concerned about people leaving dogs in hot cars in this heat wave. I know the first option is to call the police and/or animal control, but if they are delayed, I would consider smashing a window to save the dog. What are the penalties for doing that?
A. While sympathy for a canine in a hot vehicle is understandable, breaking in is not advised.
Capt. Kenneth Sarvis of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said, “Breaking a person’s window would be considered property damage, at the very least; and the individual who breaks the window would be responsible to pay for the window. My only recommendation is to call the police or animal services.”
Sarvis continued, “I would not feel comfortable in citizens taking upon themselves, the breaking of windows of other individuals. They should call law enforcement or Animal Services in these situations. As far as jail time, that would be based on structured sentencing.”
Wilmington City Attorney Bill Wolak concurred. When asked about the legal ramifications of breaking into a car, regardless of intentions, he said, “They could be charged with tampering with an auto or destruction of property.”
Date posted: July 2, 2012
User-contributed question by: