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Car Break-ins Are Now Legal to Save the Life of a Dog, Cat or Child

It’s now legal to break into cars in Colorado if you reasonably believe that a pet or child’s life is in danger. Check out the specifics of this law.

Jackie Brown  |  Apr 19th 2018

A new Colorado law makes it legal to break into a hot car to save the life of a dog, cat or child. Prior to the enactment of the new law, any person breaking into a car could be subject to charges of criminal mischief, trespassing or tampering. To be exempt from such charges, a person must reasonably believe that the unattended pet or child is in imminent danger of death or serious injury, and before breaking in, they must exhaust all other rescue options, such as attempting to contact the owner of the car and calling the police.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

Thumbnail: Photography ©Mariia Komar | Alamy Stock Photo.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about dogs in cars on Dogster:

Dog in a hot car.

You can now break into cars to save the lives of dogs and children in Colorado. Photography ©PK-Photos | Getty Images.

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