Tennessee Extends Good Samaritan Law To Save Dogs Trapped Inside Vehicles

There have been a number of reports of dogs being trapped inside hot vehicles, and while some dogs make it out alive, others meet their untimely demise because of the negligence of their owners.

In Tennessee, the Good Samaritan Law states that anyone can break into a car if they see that a child is in danger or left alone without adult supervision. According to a report from WCYB, the Good Samaritan Law extends to anyone who is not capable of exiting a vehicle on their own. David Hawk, the author of the law, explained further.

“Someone who could not get out of a car themselves, someone who is basically helpless if a car were locked. You’ve got an infant in a car seat a toddler in a chair.”

The law also states that any “good Samaritan” must first contact 911 before they break into a car window to save a child.

Now, Tennessee has decided to extend the Good Samaritan Law to include dogs who are left inside hot cars by their owners. According to Huffington Post, the inclusion of dogs into the Good Samaritan Law went into effect on July 1. Anyone who breaks into a vehicle to save a dog will not be held liable.

There have been instances where dogs suffered injuries or death due to waiting for authorities to arrive at the scene where a dog is trapped in a vehicle. To prevent this from happening, the Good Samaritan Law for dogs was put into place.

This groundbreaking law was applauded by animal advocates and ASPCA (America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Chloë Waterman, the senior manager of state legislative for ASPCA, made a statement in behalf of ASPCA.

“The ASPCA strongly supports states giving law enforcement and Good Samaritans the ability to intervene to protect animals suffering in hot cars.”

“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. If you see a dog at risk in a hot car, call 911 immediately.”

The next time you are in Tennessee, you don’t have to worry about breaking any laws if you see a dog trapped inside a hot car. This wasn’t the case for a veteran who broke into a car window in order to save a dog that was suffocating. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Michael Hammons broke the window of a car to save a Yorkie. As a result, he was charged for breaking the window. The incident happened in Georgia, where what Hammons did would have been completely legal – if he was saving a human being. Unfortunately, Georgia has no Good Samaritan Law for dogs, which is why Hammons was charged. Luckily, a Georgia-based car dealership offered to pay for the damages when the story went viral, and the charge against Hammons was dropped.

What do you think of the Good Samaritan Law for dogs? Do you think it should also be enacted in other states?

[Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images]