Tennessee Legalizes Breaking Windows to Free Dogs in Hot Cars

Tennessee Legalizes Breaking Windows to Free Dogs in Hot Cars

Imagine you are walking through a parking lot on a sweltering summer day, but before you're able to step into the refreshing air conditioning awaiting you in the store, you hear the exasperated yelps of a dog coming from the van just up ahead.As you walk over, you see the panting face of a


, her dry tongue furiously attempting to expel as much heat as her tired body will allow.


What do you do?Do you call the police? Do you try to flag down a security guard? A situation like this tends to require immediate action. Did you know that on an 85 degree day,

it takes just 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 104 degrees

? Imagine what another 10 minutes could doโ€ฆ


Knowing that, you might want to reach for the nearest heavy implement and free that pooch yourself.


But wonโ€™t you get in trouble for smashing up someoneโ€™s van?Well, if you live in Tennessee, this is no longer a concern.

New legislation

has been passed that decriminalized the defacement of a car so long as you are doing it to free a dog from the unbearable heat. The law is an add on to the existing Good Samaritan law, which previously only includedย the right to free a child from a hot car. Now it applies toย dogs as well.

Other states

have similar penalties for leaving your dog unattended in a car, but the legality of damaging someone else's property to free the dog is not as concrete.That said, the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car cannot be overstated. Dogs passing out - or dying - from heat exhaustion is a serious summertime threat in general, but leaving them to suffer the greenhouse effect of aย sealed up car on a hot day is a surefire way to get there.Donโ€™t think so? Watch as Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian, sits in his car for 30 minutes - with the windows cracked! It


gets broiling hot in there.

So if you are in Nashville and happen upon a dog stuck in a hot car, smash away - just be careful not to get cut up!

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