It's Now Legal In Tennessee To Break Into Cars For This Reason

Woof woof.

The Humane Society's website warns people of the dangers of leaving an animal in a parked car, particularly in the summer months.

On a hot, 85-degree day, the site explains that temperatures rise quickly in motor vehicles. After just 30 minutes, a dog left in a car could suffer organ damage, or even die from overheating.

"Never leave your pets in a parked car. Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on," states The Humane Society site.

iStock / lilu13
iStock / lilu13

That said, Tennessee's Good Samaritan law, that says it is legal for people to break into cars to save children, just got an important update on July 1.

Nashville Fire Department Chief of Staff Mike Franklin told Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN: "If you act reasonably, as any reasonable person would respond, you will not be at fault to save a life. You will not be at any fault to save a life and/or animal." 

To put it simply, when a life (whether human or animal) is in danger in a hot car, Tennessee laws say it's okay to break in and save them. Though, the action must be followed by appropriate steps like finding the owner and calling the police in order to be protected under the law. 

In June, a reporter called 911 when she found two dogs trapped and panting in an overheated car. Thankfully, authorities reached them on time, but as the reporter Diane Herbst explained in her report, "Time is of the essence with dogs in hot cars."

iStock / zurik6am
iStock / zurik6am

So be on the lookout this summer — You could help save a life.

(H/T: TIME)

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