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It's the dead of summer and anywhere you live in the U.S., the temperatures are climbing and probably around the highest they'll be all year. This is a good time to remind everyone of the danger of these boiling temps. It's all too often that a dog is left in a parked car and loses their life to the heat.
Many states have already taken measures to prevent these tragic deaths. Sixteen out of fifty states have enacted laws that prohibit leaving an animal in an unattended car. However, the honorable ol' Tennessee has taken it a step further. Previously, people could face criminal charges if they broke into a car to rescue a trapped dog. But now, Tennessee as changed that.
As an extension of The Good Samaritan Law, which allows people to break into cars to get children, Tennessee has now made it legal for a passerby to break a car window to get to an animal inside. Currently, it's the only state to allow this. While other states have Good Samaritan laws in place, there are lots of gray areas that can get someone criminally charged for rescuing an animal in distress.
This new law will pave the way for other states to enact similar ones. This law, while seeming like common logic, will discourage people from leaving dogs in their car even more. It will also stop people from hesitating to save an animal in distress for fear of being convicted.
Keep in mind the danger of a hot car. A dog can pass from heatstroke in only a few minutes. Because of the small, enclosed nature of a car, the internal temperature can climb past 160 degrees even when it is only 78 degrees with the windows cracked. The most important thing to do is call 911 immediately if you see a dog in a car with no sight of their owner. And if you're in Tennessee, break that window like Carrie Underwood recently did to save her trapped dogs and baby!
So let's give a big shoutout to Tennessee for passing House Bill 537, sure to save some doggy lives this summer and summers to come.