Now legal to break a car window to save a dog's life in Tennessee

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You still have to call the cops and try to find the owner of the car.

This does not mean you are allowed to drive off with the car, steal anything from it, or take the pet as your own.

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But is it legal yet to break the owner’s nose?


Now, if they would just enforce the law that makes it illegal to drive around with your dog loose in the back of your pickup…or maybe that is legal, but it shouldn’t be.

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Ok this is a bit of a tangent but I’ve been a bit of a moral quandary since earlier this week. I was out shopping on a busy avenue in Brooklyn, and walked past a car that was parked on a side street with the engine on, presumably with the AC running since temperature was in the high-80’s that day. The windows were tinted but I could clearly see nobody was in the front seats, but there was an occupied child seat (toddler sized and rear facing - max around 2.5 years old) in the back and I’m pretty sure there was a passenger in the back as well, but small - could have been an 8 year old, could have been older, or it could have been a smaller sized adult. I couldn’t tell, and chose not to knock on the window or approach from the other side to find out.

So I walk away and think “something just isn’t right about that” and debated calling 911. But then thought about it and realized someone might get in a heap-load of trouble (like CPS trouble) if I did that, and generally I think we tend to somewhat over-react to children “unattended” (I’m more of the free-range kid approach myself). I couldn’t decide what the best course of action was, but when I walked past the car again about 10 minutes later, I saw that it was still similarly parked and similarly driverless. I then saw a traffic cop, and decided to just give him a heads-up, and he said he would check it out. I have no idea what happened after that.

I don’t have any older kids, but I think if I did, I wouldn’t have a problem leaving them in the car with an infant for a few minutes, but I wouldn’t do it on a hot day and I wouldn’t leave the car running. I think. I don’t know. What do you think - did I do the right thing, or did I over-react? What would you have done?

I can see going either way on this one, but I think I’d probably do what you did. On the one hand, there’s nothing necessarily irresponsible about leaving kids in a car for a few minutes with the A/C running. On the other hand, the way people are, there’s no way you could know that it was only a few minutes, and 10 minutes is definitely more than enough.


Exactly. I think checking back 10 minutes later and seeing that the situation still hadn’t changed was a good idea, because that starts to get into “where the hell is the adult?” territory. But I also agree that calling 911 might have caused more problems then it solved.

If the car hadn’t been running in that heat, on the other hand, I think 911 the first time would have been the right call. 10 more minutes could have resulted in dead human(s).


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