Is it Legal to Break a Car Window in Montana if a Pet is Inside?

The first official day of summer is right around the corner (June 21) and temperatures are already rising. The weatherman is saying we’re headed into 90’s this weekend and upper 80’s most of next week.

Michael Foth – Townsquare MediaHundreds of dogs perish annually in hot vehicles.

You may love summer heat or you might hate it, but one thing everyone hates is seeing dogs locked in hot cars. says that on average 38 children die from being left in a hot car annually and HUNDREDS of dogs die each year from heat strokes after being left in vehicles. Even with windows cracked, dogs can perish in as little as 15 minutes if temperatures are too high. Interior temps can quickly climb to around 120 degrees.

Townsquare Media BillingsWill I face charges if I break a car window to rescue an overheating dog?

An article published by Michigan State University says “31 states have laws that either prohibit leaving an animal in a confined vehicle under dangerous conditions or provide civil immunity (protection from being sued) for a person who rescues a distressed animal from a vehicle.”

I reached out to Billings Police Animal Control for clarification on the Montana statute regarding pets in cars. A representative told me that

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