Tennessee Legalizes Breaking Windows to Free Dogs in Hot Cars

By July 08 | See Comments

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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

Bulldog

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

tennessee-hot-dog-car-2

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 do…

tennessee-hot-dog-car-3

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

tennessee-hot-dog-car-4

But won’t you get in trouble for smashing up someone’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 included the right to free a child from a hot car. Now it applies to 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 a sealed up car on a hot day is a surefire way to get there.Don’t think so? Watch as Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian, sits in his car for 30 minutes - with the windows cracked! It

still

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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