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It's Not Just Kids Who Suffer in Hot Cars

As the summer continues to heat up, there is incredible danger for pets trapped in hot cars, even if the windows are cracked. A Tennessee law is now allowing citizens to legally break into cars if an animal is left inside.

The new law in Tennessee went into effect on July 1, and it covers good Samaritans rescuing both kids and pets from cars. They will not be responsible for any damages caused while trying to break into the car.

They must first ensure that the car doors are locked, and the child or animal is in danger of overheating and suffering harm if not immediately removed. They must also notify police as soon as possible.

The ASPCA is strongly in support of the passing of this law, which gives good Samaritans the power to help animals in need.

"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, told NBC News.

While there is danger for either children or animals to be trapped in cars, it can be worse for animals. They do not respond in the same way as humans do.

"If you leave a dog, as soon as they begin to feel that they are overheating, they get anxious and panicked," KC Theisen, director of pet care issues at the Humane Society, told NBC News. "That causes their heart rate and body temperature to spike, putting them in more danger."

Tennessee is the 16th state to pass legislation protecting pets from being left in hot cars. Hopefully more states will soon join the list.

Image via Twenty20

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