How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Please. What is the law regarding rescuing a dog from a hot

Resolved Question:

Please. What is the law regarding rescuing a dog from a hot locked car if the owner cannot be located and the animal is visibly distressed or endangered?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I found a young dog left in a sealed car in Dulwich Park car park yesterday. No shade. Ambient temperature 22C. After some minutes I was able to locate the owner and politely indicated to him the danger to his puppy. He was reasonable and grateful and retrieved his dog instead of continuing his fitness class.


However - I realised that I am completely ignorant as to how I could have dealt with the situation had I been unable to locate the owner. The pup was panting and squeaking and had been left with no water or open window.


I later telephone the RSPCA for information but they were unable to tell me anything except that to break into the car would render me liable to a charge of criminal damage.


Are there any guidelines as to a proper course of action?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

The RSPCA are a complete waste of everybody's time in my opinion.

You can always just call the police who are actually fairly helpful in situations like this and even if they are not then the fact that you have reported your concern before you act would support any defence that you subsequently rose.

I have to say that I have never actually been in a position where I have had to do this but this is what I would do.

Obviously make every effort you can to locate the owner. If you are parked in a supermarket car park then get the staff there to announce the concern over the tannoy etc.

Then call the police and report your concern. If they are not willing to deal with it explain that you intend to. Even if they do refuse, and they won't, the fact that you have made a call will be recorded.

Take pictures on your phone of the vehicle and the dog.

Then break the window.

You are vulnerable to a charge of criminal damage. You do have a defence.

The law is set out here

and it basically says that you cannot damage property without lawful excuse.

You will find the definition of lawful excuse here

and, in fact, I think you are covered by both heads under Ss2

If you look at 2[a] you only have to show that a person would have consented and most people, even completely negligent dog owners, are not going to come along to court and tell the court that they would not have consented to a window being broken while their dog roasted alive.

Also, you are clearly covered under both heads of 2

This is the defence that the police regularly use to break windows or indeed that the fire brigade use to break in.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice

Related Law Questions