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When Shouldn’t You Leave Your Pet or Child in the Car?

With the weather heating up, we need to aware of our actions. Not staying hydrated, and staying in the sunlight too long can have serious repercussions. We have to be smart in order to survive the heat. However, it’s not just about your safety this summer that you have to be concerned about. It is also the safety of your children and pets.

Every summer, everyone is constantly reminded to stay cool and drink lots of water. This is obvious to most adults, however, what about those who cannot fend for themselves? Those are the ones we have to worry about because they are often forgotten. Leaving a child or pet in a car untended can lead to their death.

Pets are constantly at our mercy. If we don’t feed them, they starve. If we neglect them and don’t groom them, they end up with matted hair and an unhealthy coat. If we leave them in a car in 100 degree weather, they will die. It doesn’t even need to be 100 degrees, it just needs to be 70 degrees. The car windows can act as a magnifying glass. Not only will the windows amplify the heat, the metal of the car will contain the heat. Even tinted windows won’t protect your pet from the heat.

Leaving your kids in a car is similar to leaving your pet in a hot car. Young kids can’t fend for themselves, and the same is for infants. They need our protection, which is why they’re not considered adults right after birth. Leaving your child unattended in a vehicle can lead to being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

In Tennessee, an adult in violation of the law is subject to a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense. If an injury occurs as a result of a violation of 55‐10‐803, the violator could be subject to a Class A misdemeanor or a Class A, B or D felony for child endangerment. Death as a result of leaving a child unattended is a Class E felony for criminally negligent homicide.

We love our pets and children. We never mean to harm them. The best way to prevent an accident is to your research and prepare. If you know you’re going to have to run into a store to pick a few items for dinner and you have your pet with you, plan on dropping your pet off at home. If you have your child with you, plan on taking them in, even if it’s just for a few items. It may be an inconvenience, but better safe than sorry.