The time of year is fast approaching when it is all too common for dogs to be left in cars. The warnings over the dangers of this are heard by most, but there are still the odd one or two people who seem ignorant, if not oblivious to the risk posed if dogs are left in vehicles.
However, on this occasion, we are not going to talk about the problems that the animals suffer, but rather the issues which a would-be saviour might face if they try to act to take unilateral action.
For a number of years a story has grown virally through social media reporting that if you see an animal locked inside a vehicle you are legally allowed to break a window in order to rescue it. The reports often also state that if you take pictures or videos of the incident, they will serve as evidence of your actions and will mitigate any offence you may have committed in the act. Many of the fake reports even quote the legal text which you can use as part of your evidence.
These articles and promises, in whatever form they take, are not true. The only legally permitted course of action if you see a dog in such a state is to call for assistance from the police or Guardia Civil.
Summon the nearest or fastest possible assistance, whether that be local police who may be on hand nearby, calling 091 or 062 if you speak Spanish, or the emergency coordination centre on 112, where operators speak multiple languages, but under no circumstances should you put yourself at risk of prosecution by taking the advice shared through these erroneous social media posts.