Chicago police may get power to break car windows to save pets

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CHICAGO — Some alderman in Chicago are pushing a law that could save the lives of pets.

The bill gives police and animal control officers clear authority to break a car window to free any pet trapped inside on a hot or cold day. It is a last resort if they can’t locate the owner or find another way into a parked car.

The City Council Finance Committee recommended approval of the ordinance on Monday.

There is already a state law in effect, but city officials say a local law is needed in case a person sues for damages.

City officials are hoping to expand the ordinance to include ordinary citizens who see a pet suffering in a locked car.

A car’s temperature can change dramatically, particularly in the summer.

The inside of a car can get 20 degrees hotter than outside when the windows are closed.

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