With the above 90 degree temperatures that we have recently had in Maine, numerous websites, radio and tv stations have reminded pet owners not to leave their dogs in the car. Unfortunately, there are some owners that ignore their pet's safety and really, common sense, and leave their dogs in the hot cars.

Photo Chris Popper

Thanks to Diana de los Santos, the Animal Control Officer with the Towns of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert, here's the information from the Maine State Statutes

This is from Title 7: AGRICULTURE AND ANIMALS
Part 9: ANIMAL WELFARE
Chapter 739: CRUELTY TO ANIMALS -

§4019. Removal from unattended motor vehicle
1. Removal authorized. A law enforcement officer, humane agent, animal control officer, firefighter as defined in Title 26, section 2101, first responder as defined in Title 32, section 83, subsection 13-A or security guard licensed under Title 32, chapter 93, referred to in this section as "authorized persons," may take all steps that are reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the animal's safety, health or well-being appears to be in immediate danger from heat, cold or lack of adequate ventilation and the conditions could reasonably be expected to cause extreme suffering or death.
[ 2011, c. 288, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Notice required. A law enforcement officer, humane agent or animal control officer who removes an animal in accordance with subsection 1 shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing the officer's or agent's name and office and the address of the location where the animal may be claimed. A firefighter, first responder or security guard who removes an animal in accordance with subsection 1 shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing the person's name and the address of the location where the animal may be claimed. The owner may claim the animal only after payment of all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment and impoundment of the animal.
[ 2011, c. 288, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Immunity. An authorized person who removes an animal from a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection 1 is immune from criminal or civil liability that might otherwise result from the removal.

So... If you see a dog overheating in a vehicle, you should immediately call the local police department and report it. Then, a law enforcement officer, humane agent, or animal control officer can legally and without any criminal or civil liability remove the dog from the vehicle.