Good Samaritans Can Break Windows to Save Dogs in Tennessee

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Passersby can now break a window to save a dog from dying inside a car on a hot day in Tennessee, according to Time.

That state added to its “Good Samaritan” law to include protecting pups from sweltering heat by breaking a window. According to the Humane Society, a car can heat up in 30 minutes to nearly 120 degrees inside if the outside temperature is 85 degrees.

According to the new law, people should reasonably search for the owner of the car or notify police before breaking the car’s window. Bark Post reports that 16 states have similar laws on the books.

Although Colorado doesn’t have a Good Samaritan law specifically protecting people from saving pets, a spokeswoman with the Denver Police Department said a passerby may break a car window to save an animal after calling animal control. Nearly every state offers protection to Good Samaritans breaking windows to save children.

A woman in Georgia recently dropped charges against a man who broke her window to save a dog after a local dealership offered to replace her window for free.

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11 of 36 comments
  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on Jul 09, 2015

    I agree with this law for the most part but you better damn well be sure that you are in the right when you do it. I can start my car with my cellphone and have done so when I traveled with my dog before. I can go in and if I am taking longer than expected, I can just turn on the car and run the AC for 15 mins or so, so if you smashed my windows, you would be expecting a lawsuit from me, at the least replacing my window and fixing any damage.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mcs Mcs on Jul 10, 2015

      @wmba >> Now, how do you get around that? With my EV, I can leave the climate control running with the car "off". If the climate control was to switch off for some reason, I get an email and/or text from the car.

  • Robc123 Robc123 on Jul 09, 2015

    ha ha. I bet their will be litigation for owners whose pets bit the people breaking the windows.

  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Jul 10, 2015

    Good. Now if only we can make leaving dogs (and people) in hot cars a felony (currently, only New Hampshire does this and only on the second offense)... For more info on which states have which laws regarding this:

  • Madman2k Madman2k on Jul 10, 2015

    I agree that it's cruel to kill an animal that way, but aren't people always complaining that dogs and cats are reproducing too much and overpopulating various cities? More than one way to look at the issue... I have left a dog in my Prius for a little while several times and if it's hot out I will have the A/C running, the gas motor just cycles on and off once in a while and I can lock it with the actual key from the driver's door. Always wondered if some idiot do-gooder would smash a window even though it's colder in the car than outside. Oklahoma seems to be full of people who are 'experts' on raising kids and taking care of animals and feel it's their God-given right to shove their 'expertise' down a stranger's throat in public. Might be everywhere, who knows.

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    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jul 10, 2015

      @DenverMike If it's pushing 80, leave the AC on. Your dog would do it for you, even take a bullet for you.