It is NOT Legal to Break a Window For a Dog Trapped in a Hot Car in Texas
I've seen a lot of people sharing stories about not facing legal repercussion for breaking a window to save a dog trapped in a hot car. Sorry, but that is simply not true in Texas.
We hear stories all the time about people leaving kids or animals in hot cars during the summer. Sadly, we all wish we could do something. As of right now, if you see a kid in a vehicle, you can legally break the window of the vehicle to get them out of the hot car in Texas. HOWEVER, this does not apply to animals trapped in a hot car.
Texas Senate Bill 188 was going to change this. Basically, relating to civil liability for removing certain individuals or animals from a motor vehicle and criminal liability for removing certain animals from a motor vehicle. It is a good Samaritan law, you see an animal trapped in a hot car, you do what you can to get them out of there. This bill did NOT pass, it died in the committee on April 20, 2017.
So this means you will be facing charges for breaking that person's window if you decide to do that. I am not saying you're wrong if you do so. I would not just stand there and let an animal die if I can prevent it. Just don't think you're getting a get out of jail free card if you break that window. You could still face charges if you do it.
As of right now, if you see an animal in a hot car you should call the police and tell them about it. When that person returns to their car, they will be charged with animal cruelty to a non-livestock animal. A misdemeanor with potential penalties of up to $4,000 in fines and a year in jail.
BONUS: Dogs Enjoy the Day at Castaway Cove Waterpark