It takes a unique breed of profoundly unsettling sociopathic tendencies to either: a.) leave a child in a car on a particularly warm day, or b.) leave an animal in a car on a similarly warm day. However, these things still happen with an often alarming level of frequency. To help prevent future events of this nature,Tennessee‘s Good Samaritan Law protects citizens from criminal charges if they break into a stranger’s vehicle to rescue an unattended child — but what about the animals?
Starting this month, Tennessee will begin employing a new addendum to the Good Samaritan Law which extends that protection to anyone breaking into a vehicle to save an animal. As People notes, only 16 states currently have laws prohibiting the act of keeping an animal in an unattended vehicle. The Humane Society‘s tips on protecting animals during the brutal summer months are quite clear, with a firm “no exceptions” rule on leaving them unattended:
Never leave your pets in a parked car. Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
Additionally, comfortable temperatures outside never necessarily indicate comfortable temperatures on the inside of a vehicle. In addition to The Humane Society’s advice on how to a help a trapped animal, you can now — at least in Tennessee — take far more immediate measures to potentially save a life.