Grab yourself a rubber hammer and get ready to form a canine rescue squad as Tennessee just passed a law allowing pedestrians to break into hot cars if animals are trapped inside — and you can’t get in trouble for it.
Of course, you have to check whether or not the car is locked, call the police, and be sure that the pup really is in imminent danger before you can go window smashing at Walmart. We’re happy to see that the ability to intervene and protect suffering animals is being put into the hands of good samaritans. These laws also apply for children of course, but the pet laws recently went into effect on July 1st as an extension of existing good Samaritan laws.
“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,” Chloe Waterman, senior manager of State Legislative Strategy for the ASPCA.
Only 16 other states are currently protecting animals with similar laws according to MSU’s Animal Legal & Historical Center — though you could potentially be protected regardless if the situation is considered to be animal cruelty.
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