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Don’t Leave Your Pet Behind in the Car

Don’t Leave Your Pet Behind in the Car

While summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20th, the summer heat is already starting to show up. This is one of the many reasons why people are getting so antsy to go outside again, but that is a different conversation. This warmer weather means that it is time once again to talk about the dangers and legality of leaving pets alone in cars.

As the weather warms up, sitting cars can quickly become dangerous for any living thing stuck inside of them. If someone goes out and to run errands and decides to bring their favorite furry companion along for a ride, they need to be careful. If they aren’t, they could not only cause serious harm to their pet but also face some legal trouble as well.

The Dangers of Parked Cars

Viewing parked cars as dangerous can be a bit odd, but it is valid as the weather warms up. The dangers of parked cars are with how hot they can get on the inside. Every driver has had to experience face-melting heat after returning to their vehicle that has been parked in the sun for a while.

Even if the driver was lucky enough to leave their vehicle in the shade, they will still have to deal with the heat as they sit down. The fact of the matter is that when temperatures outside start surpassing the 70 degrees Fahrenheit mark, the interiors of parked cars can easily reach over 100 degrees in just a few minutes. Cracking the windows won’t help much either.

Parked cars in warm weather can quickly create inhospitable environments that no one wants to sit in, and yet some people still think it is okay to leave an animal behind in the car will they go do some shopping.

Leaving Pets Behind Is Illegal

As it turns out, leaving an animal unattended in a hot car is illegal here in California because it is a form of animal abuse. Penal Code (PC) 597.7 makes it illegal to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle when conditions that endanger the health and safety of the animal.

It is important to note that this includes both hot and cold weather.

Another detail of this law is that it protects people who break into cars to save an animal, provided they take the right steps. For starters, before someone resorts to breaking into a vehicle to rescue an animal, they must first check that the doors are locked. Before breaking in, they must also contact emergency services and alert them to the situation.

After they have done that, the person can break into the vehicle as long as they reasonably believe that if they don’t, the animal will suffer great bodily harm, and they break only what is necessary to gain access to the vehicle. After they have retrieved the animal, they must keep it in a safe area nearby and hand it over to emergency personnel once they arrive.

The Penalties of Breaking PC 597.7

The severity of the penalties for breaking this law are dependent on whether or not the person has been convicted of this charge before, and if the animal suffered any great bodily injuries due to being left alone in the vehicle.

If the incident was a first-time offense and the animal didn’t suffer any severe injuries, then the person will face a fine of $100 per animal.

If it is a first-time offense and the animal did suffer a great bodily injury, then the person will face a misdemeanor charge that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

A second offense always results in the above misdemeanor charges, regardless of whether or not the animal suffered any severe injuries.

Since people are allowed to do what is necessary to gain access to the vehicle to rescue the animal, a person may end up needing to pay for car repair as well.

Lastly, since this is a form of animal neglect, a person could also face animal abuse charges in addition to the above charges.

Leave Them at Home with the AC

Every pet owner loves to spend time with their furry companion, and taking them for a ride can be a lot of fun. However, when a person does take their pet for a ride, they should not leave their pet alone in a vehicle on a warm day. Once temperatures start rising higher than 70 degrees, the insides of cars can easily become blisteringly hot.

Leaving a pet unattended in a hot car can easily harm or kill the animal. It can also get a person into trouble for animal abuse. Neither of those situations are something that any pet owner wants to deal with. This is why it is often best to leave pets at home when running errands.

What Are Protester’s Rights?

ne of the great things about living here in the United States is that people can always speak their mind. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants every US citizen the right to freedom of speech and peacefully protest. This way, if someone doesn’t like something that is going on in the world, they can speak out against it and try to make a change.

While this law is a great one, there is often a bit of confusion around it. Sometimes people find themselves being arrested for what they believe to have been them exercising their First Amendment Rights. This is especially common during protests. The problem is that some people don’t understand what is and isn’t protected, and so they may overstep and do something they think is protected when, in fact, it is considered illegal.

The First Amendment to the Constitution

The US Constitution is what gives us citizens our many rights. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants citizens freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, and the right to assemble/petition. This is the amendment that gives people the right to protest when they are upset about something.

The Amendment was a part of the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It was adopted into law in 1791 to protect the civil liberties of US citizens.

Where People Run Into Trouble

The problem that most people run into while protesting is that they start to break laws even though they think they are just exercising their right to free speech.

True, everyone has the right to free speech. However, no one is allowed to threaten the safety of others or to lie or slander other people. Threatening to hurt or kill people is never acceptable and is not protected under the First Amendment. Doing this will get a person arrested, and rightfully so. No one should ever be made to feel like their life is in danger. A protester is also not allowed to say things that could start a riot or other dangerous behavior.

People are allowed to gather and protest, as long as they do so safely and in designated public areas. Some acceptable places to protest include parks, sidewalks, public streets, public auditoriums, the steps of city hall, in front of government buildings, and on private property with the property owner’s permission. A person can protest in any of these locations without fear of arrest, so long as they are not exhibiting any unsafe behavior, such as blocking traffic.

Protesters still have to listen to orders given by peace officers whose jobs it is to protect people’s safety. Police officers are meant to keep people safe. If they are telling someone to stop acting in a dangerous manner, which can include disrupting traffic, disturbing the peace, or risking public health, the person needs to listen or they will be arrested.

A protester is allowed to peacefully express their opinions as long as they continue to follow other established laws. If they don’t do that, then they could be arrested for breaking those laws.

Laws Protesters Can Be Charged with in California

A person can get arrested while protesting if they start breaking laws. Some of the laws that are most commonly broken by protesters include:

  • Penal Code (PC) 148: Resisting arrest. A person breaks this law when they resist arrest or obstruct an officer from arresting someone else.
  • PC 403: Disturbing a public meeting. A person breaks this law when they willfully disturb or break up a lawful public meeting.
  • PC 409: Failing to disperse. A person breaks this law when they stay at a riot or other unlawful assembly after being told to leave by a police officer.
  • PC 415: Disturbing the peace. A person breaks this law when they play excessively loud music, start a fight with someone, or use offensive language meant to start a fight.
  • PC 602: Trespassing. A person breaks this law when they enter or remain on private property when they don’t have permission to be there.

Everyone Has Rights

Here in the US, is a person doesn’t like something, they have the right to say so. They have the right to try and peacefully convince others of their idea. However, they do not have the right to do whatever they want while protesting.

While a person is protesting, they must remember other peoples’ rights as well. People have the right to go about their daily lives peacefully, they have the right to not be threatened with violence, and everyone has the right to speak their mind, even if their opinion is different.