GREENSBORO, N.C. - We're verifying a Facebook post making its rounds on the Internet again. It reads:
“The Police are now saying if you see a dog locked in a car in hot weather, take a picture of the dog and the car. If someone is with you, get them to bring up the weather for your area on their phone so you can screen shot the temp, then break the car window. This way, you will not be charged with criminal damage and it give the police photo evidence to take the dog owners to court.”
You've seen it before – a dog stuck in a car, the windows rolled up, the temperature rising -- and there's no owner in sight.
So, what do you do?
Before you decide to bust out a window, the Verify Team did some digging.
To Verify the claim, we reached out to Colonel Randy Powers with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office and veterinarian Dr. Janine Oliver.
Right away, Colonel Powers directed us to a North Carolina law which address this exact situation.
“There was a law passed in 2013, and in that particular law it states that a law enforcement officer, a firefighter or rescue personnel can break a window to rescue an animal,” said Powers.
On top of that, Powers says can be criminally charged for breaking someone's window.
So, we can verify that what this post claims - is false.
Your best course of action: call 9-1-1. If you believe the animal is in distress, it’s a good idea to do it as soon as possible. Dr. Oliver says there are dangers in hot cars, especially for animals, because even in outside temperatures as low at 70 degrees, inside the car – it can skyrocket.
“They can actually have organ damage very quickly. Brain damage, liver damage, kidney damage, damage to the GI tract. And it can happen in as fast as 10 or 20 minutes,” said Oliver.