SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s easy to get rushed while you’re out doing errands, and to not fully think through what it means to bring your dog along with you while you’re out and about. But in the warm months, not just on exceptionally hot days, it’s important to remember to never leave your dog in the car. They are safest at home. 

Here’s why. When the air temperature is 80 degrees, the inside of your car can reach 109 degrees in just 20 minutes. Depending on the color of your car on the outside and the inside, that can happen even faster. When it’s hotter than that, like it has been recently, the inside of the car can become deadly in a matter of minutes. 

According to the National Weather Service, dogs can die of heat stroke within 15 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t make a difference, the inside of your car can still get dangerously hot. There is action you can take if you see a pet locked in a car on a warm day. 

In Massachusetts, it is completely legal to break a window if you see a pet left inside of a car on a hot day, as long as other measures are taken. Those include attempting to find the owner, calling the authorities, checking if there are any other reasonable ways to get inside the vehicle, and staying on the scene after the animal is rescued.