New Tennessee Law Allows Samaritans To Rescue Dogs Trapped In Hot Cars
Sadly, it’s not exactly an uncommon sight to see a dog left in the family car on a hot summer day. Sometimes, the owner leaves the windows down. But that isn’t always the case, as too many dogs have died from being trapped in a hot car, and too many good Samaritans have faced civil liability charges for breaking a window to try and rescue those dogs.
But that’s no longer the case in Tennessee.
A new law will allow any citizen who sees an animal trapped in a hot car to break into that car to rescue the animal without facing civil liability charges. The law, which was officially put into effect on July 1, is an extension of the Good Samaritan law that allows a citizen to break into a car to rescue a child trapped inside.
Of course, you can’t just break the window the minute you see the dog. You still have to go through certain steps first, such as attempting to find the owner and contacting law enforcement. Really, breaking into the car should be seen as a method of last resort.
“If you act reasonably, as any reasonable person would respond, you will not be at fault to save a life,” said Mike Franklin, the Chief of Staff for the Nashville Fire Department. “You will not be at any fault to save a life and or animals.”
With that said, it would be wonderful if people would just stop locking their dogs in cars with the windows up in the first place. According to the Humane Society, a sealed car can reach temperatures in excess of 120 degrees, even with the windows open slightly. So please, please, PLEASE don’t leave your dogs in the car this summer! It could mean the death of your dog, a citation from the court, or some stranger breaking your car window. Either way, it’s not going to turn out well for you.
Besides, who’d want to endanger a dog? Especially when they’re THIS freakin’ awesome and cute!