7/11/2017 10:26:00 AM New law allows rescue of dogs, kids in hot cars
By Jodi Schneider McNamee
Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet or child at serious risk and possible death, even on a day that doesn't seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.
Hot car deaths are a consistent problem.
Every year, hundreds of dogs suffer and die when their pet parents make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car - even for "just a minute" - while they run an errand.
More than 36 children die in overheated cars every year in the United States. 718 children left in vehicles have died of heatstroke since 1998.
Authorities cited a Redmond man last week for child neglect after he left his four-month-old baby in a hot car while he went into a Home Depot store in Bend.
Bend Police say officers responded to a report at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday that an infant had been left unattended inside a vehicle in the parking lot.
The caller told authorities the baby was in a child safety seat crying with the windows of the vehicle partially down. The outside temperature at the time was 89 degrees.
Before an officer could break into the vehicle, the child's father came out of the store.
Police say the infant was determined to be uninjured but sweaty after about 13 minutes in the vehicle. Police say the internal temperature of the vehicle was 99 degrees with the leather seat registering at 104 degrees.
Cool outside doesn't mean cool in the car. It doesn't have to be that warm outside for a car to become dangerously hot inside. When it's 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. When it's 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees within 10 minutes.
And with a heatwave already here in Central Oregon, that means the inside of your car will be even hotter.
The law now gives individuals explicit permission to save an animal or child trapped in hot car. The Oregon Senate passed House Bill 2732 that exempts people from criminal or civil liability if they break into a car to rescue a pet or a child.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law on June 22, allowing people to smash car windows to save a child or animal that is suffering inside a hot vehicle. This new law goes into effect immediately.
The Oregon Humane Society helped push the new law through the legislature.
"It gives people the ability to intervene on behalf of children and animals when they're most at risk," said Oregon Humane Society President and CEO Sharon Harmon.
According to the new law, before a Good Samaritan chooses to break a car window to save an animal or child locked in a hot car, they would have to contact law enforcement or emergency services.
They are also required to "use no more force than is necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the child or animal."
And they have to stay with the child or animal safely nearby the vehicle until first-responders and police arrive or the owner of the car returns.
How do you break a window without harming the child or animal and what can you use to break it?
Captain Paul Garrison of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office shed some light on possibilities.
"You'd want to find some kind of a blunt object such as a tire iron from your car," Garrison told The Nugget. "And you'll want to strike the window in the bottom corner near the door handle. It's preferably the best way to go; it's easier to break out. One thing people should be concerned about is breaking the window as far away from the child or animal as possible so they don't end up with broken glass on them."
Garrison also urged people to try the door handles first because the car may not be locked.
Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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That is the best law passed in this state in a long time -