Blog Post

The Laws About Leaving Your Dog In The Car

Charlotte weather is known for being wildly unpredictable.  Think back to January when it was 70 degrees one day and snowing the next.  The only certainty in Charlotte’s weather is that the summer will be HOT.

One issue discussed each summer is the protection of our pets on those hot summer days, specifically when pets left in hot vehicles.

Every staff member at Lindley Law, PLLC is a proud dog owner and many days in the office we celebrate bring your pup to work day.  Charlotte is one of the most dog friendly cities around, leading to Charlotte Magazine articles titled, “Are Dogs Replacing Kids”.  We understand the desire to take your pup with you everywhere you go, but we also hope you will use your best judgment when you need to step away from your pooch to run a quick errand.

North Carolina law prohibits leaving an animal in a confined vehicle when dangerous conditions are present.  North Carolina also provides legal protection to select individuals who rescue an animal in distress from a vehicle.  The law extends these protections to many other pets including every living Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia.  The “dangerous conditions” are classified as “conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions.”  Individuals who are found to have left their animal in their vehicle under dangerous conditions could face charges for animal cruelty.

What can you do to help? Should you come across an animal you believe is in a dangerous condition you should immediately call 911.  You should not attempt to rescue the animal yourself because North Carolina law only protects law enforcement officers, firefighters, or rescue squad workers from legal persecution resulting from an attempt to rescue the animal. N.C.G.S. § 14-363.3.

Should you find yourself traveling during these summer months be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws that protect animals left in parked vehicles in the state where you are traveling!


From our fury friends to yours, have a great summer!