PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Local animal hospitals say they often see dogs brought in for emergency care during heat waves.

For people that witness an animal or child locked inside a hot car, an Oregon state law allows you to act quickly to save them.

Oregon passed a law in 2017 that gives people the right to break into a vehicle to save the life of a child or animal trapped inside in imminent danger. But there’s a catch, you are supposed to call law enforcement first.

The law says you are supposed to stay with the animal or the child until the owner of the vehicle or first responders arrive. The Good Samaritan law protects you in a lawsuit if you follow the procedure as a last resort.

First, it’s recommended you see if the driver may be in a nearby business, have the business make an announcement with a vehicle description and license plate information and call the police to respond and help. Temperatures inside a vehicle can climb to 120 degrees within 20 minutes.

Several people in the medical community said cracking the windows and parking in the shade does not lower the temperature inside significantly, and that the pet or child often has no access to water.

Leaving pets at home is the best thing you can do for them in the heat.