Rescuing a Dog From a Hot Car is Now Legal in Tennessee

An extension to Tennessee’s “Good Samaritan law,” which makes it legal to break into a hot car to save a child, now makes it legal to do the same for animals. According to Time Magazine, there are now 16 other states with laws prohibiting leaving an animal in a hot car.

There are specific steps, such as searching for the owner of the vehicle and alerting the authorities, that must be taken in order for an individual to be covered legally. However, it can take dispatchers longer than average to respond to these calls. By that point, it might be too late.

Earlier this summer, a Georgia man was arrested for breaking a window and saving a dog from a hot car. Georgia law does allow someone to break a window to save a child, but the same rule does not apply to animals. (Later the charges were dropped against the Georgia man thanks in part to more than 116,000 people to signed a petition.)

According to ASPCA, a car in 85 degree weather can reach 102 degrees in just ten minutes with the windows cracked. Despite the fact that this is uncomfortable even for humans who have sweat as a cooling mechanism, dogs get left in cars every summer. This negligence is serious because according to Peta, dogs can suffer heat stroke in as little as fifteen minutes.

If you see a dog exhibiting symptoms of a heat stroke, such as excessive panting, excessive drooling, disorientation or collapsing even after searching for the owner of the vehicle and alerting the authorities, it is the proper time to act. The new extension to the law in Tennessee could save many lives.

Nashville Fire Department chief of staff told local ABC news outlet WKRN that, “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 animals.”

This print out from ASPCA can be used by businesses or to be put on the windshield wipers of offenders.

What to Do When You See a Dog in a Hot Car

Pets in Hot Cars



Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a year ago

Thank let's see it become legal everywhere.

Cindy S
Cindy Smithabout a year ago

should be legal everywhere
idiots should not have animals

Ann B
Ann Babout a year ago

LETS make it all 50 sates!!!!NOW ----- and while we are on this subject how many idiots leave their children in hot cars..and oh yes"we forgo they were there'"?? watch the news folks

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

We went to Walmart one day this summer. When we got there and parked, there was a car with a dog in it. I was going to report it to the service desk when I noticed the owner had left the car running. Guess that person wasn't the idiot I was thinking.

Jim M.
Jim M3 years ago

as soon as the air conditioning goes off in the car the misery begins for the animal left in it, even for a few minutes

Jim M.
Jim M3 years ago

animals should be left in a safe home environment in hot weather

Jim M.
Jim M3 years ago

this should be legal everywhere

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Should be legal everywhere

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.