Tennessee Rep Nets PETA Award for Animal-Saving Bill

David Hawk's Extension to Good Samaritan Law Will Allow Citizens to Save Anyone Trapped Inside a Hot Car

For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Nashville, Tenn. – As of July 1, Tennesseans can break into vehicles without facing civil liability to save both human children and animals who are locked inside on dangerously hot days, thanks to an extension to the Good Samaritan Law first introduced by Tennessee State Rep. David Hawk. And for introducing the unprecedented new law—which is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S.—Rep. Hawk will receive a Compassionate Lawmaker Award from PETA.

Rep. Hawk was reportedly moved to introduce the extension after hearing about a dog who died in a hot car before law enforcement could arrive to save the animal. “It’s good for folks to know that they have this ability to take action should a possible tragic event happen,” he said.

“Every summer, PETA receives dozens of calls about cases in which someone ran into a store for ‘just a few minutes’—only to find that those few minutes proved fatal for a dog left behind in the hot car,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “Thanks to Representative Hawk, this new law will ensure that Tennesseans don’t hesitate to step in and save dogs from agonizing, preventable deaths.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reminds all dog guardians never to leave any animal inside a parked car. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Rep. Hawk will receive a framed certificate and the Tennessee General Assembly will receive delicious dog-shaped vegan chocolates from PETA.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind