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article imageTN now legalizes people to break into hot cars to save pets

By Carol Ruth Weber     Jul 9, 2015 in Lifestyle
As of July 1, 2015 Tennessee has become the first state in the nation to specifically allow good Samaritans to legally break a window in a hot car in order to save a pet.
As reported on June 13, 2015 by the Johnson City Press people in Tennessee will now legally be protected to be allowed to break into a hot car to save a pet locked inside. The Tennessee ‘Good Samaritan’ law has now been expanded from just children trapped inside heat exhausting vehicles to also include pets.
David Hawk, the Fifth District Rep. from Greeneville, TN helped push the law forward enabling it to pass as an amendment to Hawk’s House Bill 0537 which reads “As enacted, adds animals to the existing procedure that confers immunity from liability on a person for damage caused by breaking into a locked vehicle for the purpose of extracting a child in danger.”
In all of the 50 States, Tennessee is the very first one to officially make it legal to allow someone to physically break into an overheated locked vehicle to save a pet from heat stroke and worse, death, without fear of being persecuted or sued in court. Hawk was impelled to get the law in place after hearing of the tragic situation in which two dogs were trapped in a car leading to one of the dogs’ death before law officials arrived.
Stated in the Dogington Post on June 3, 2015, before the new Tennessee law only 16 out of the 50 states had any official laws to protect animals from being locked inside an overheated up car. Although Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia have made it illegal to trap dogs in hot cars alone, there is still no law to protect a concerned person from breaking into a vehicle to save a pets life. Only 14 of those states even allow law officials to enter the vehicle without the owner’s permission to save an animal. Even with it being illegal to leave a pet alone in the hot car, there is no recourse for anyone, even for law personnel, to legally retrieve that animal trapped in the car in New Jersey and West Virginia.
The ASPCA, as reported by NBC News, News Channel 8, are in strong support of this new law to protect animals trapped, as well as those wishing to help the pets. The senior manager of State Legislative Strategy for the ASPCA, Chloe Waterman stated “It takes only minutes for a pet to face death — on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees, even with the windows cracked”. With this first of its kind law enacted in Tennessee it is very hopeful that the other states will follow filing new laws to protect animals from being trapped in cars to boil, as well as protecting concerned citizens looking to rescue a trapped pet. Just as children should not be left in an overheated car, the same is true for the furry kids as well.
More about Pets, saving pets, Tennessee, Animal cruelty, Animal rights
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