What Are Connecticut’s Laws About Leaving Pets in Sweltering Hot Cars?
With all that we now know about how deadly it can be for pets left in a car as the weather get warmer, it seems crazy to me that this is still something that happens.
The temperature in a car can escalate a lot faster than you might think. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that it can rise 20 degrees in just ten minutes. As you can see by the chart below, it does not have to be a sweltering day for things to go tragically wrong.
Eighteen states have made this a crime and allow "reasonable force" in order to rescue an animal left unattended. But what about Connecticut?
Senior Legislative Attorney, Janet Kaminski Leduc, has published a report, State Laws Prohibiting Leaving Animals in Unattended Vehicles, which details what the state of Connecticut considers a punishable animal abuse charge:
In Connecticut, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, a person leaving an animal confined in a parked vehicle in adverse weather (e.g., extreme heat or cold), may be charged with animal cruelty.
Under Connecticut law, a person commits animal cruelty if he or she, among other things, tortures, cruelly beats or kills, deprives of necessary sustenance, or unjustifiably injures an animal.
A person is also guilty of this crime if (1) when confining an animal, they fail to provide the animal proper care or to supply it with wholesome air, food, and water or (2) when having custody of an animal, they inflict cruelty upon it or fail to provide it proper food, drink, or protection from the weather. Animal cruelty is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both for a first offense and is a class D felony for a subsequent offense. Intentional and malicious animal cruelty is a class D felony (CGS § 53-247).
PLEASE DON'T LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR. Don't take a chance on their life.