There's only 1 U.S. state that protects you after saving a child or pet from a hot car. Kudos.

What would you do if you saw a child trapped alone in a car in the middle of a hot summer day?

The windows are up. She's crying. Or maybe she's unresponsive. You look around and realize her parents aren't anywhere nearby.

Some parents don't realize how hot it can get in a closed car — even on a day that's just 70 degrees, temperatures inside your car can get to 110. Other parents just sometimes legitimately forget their children in the car.


In either case, when you see a child in distress, your instinct is to get that car open one way or another and save her from heat stroke — or maybe even death.

How could you not want to save this face? Image via Pixabay.

And what would you do if you saw a puppy or another pet in the same situation?

Alone, hot, distressed, no owners around. You'd probably feel the same way. Most people would do whatever's in their power to save the poor creature in distress from dying a brutal death.

Look at him — he's begging to be let out! Photo by allenthepostman/Flickr.

All of us probably know someone who loves their "furbaby" (or maybe you're one of those people!). Who wouldn't want to have them saved?

But did you know that doing the "right" thing by saving those babies or pets could put you at risk of fines or even arrest?

Don't believe me? There was a recent uproar in Georgia over a vet who was arrested for smashing a car window to save a dog. When he noticed the dog, he called the police, but — knowing that every moment is critical — he didn't wait for them to arrive. In an interview about the backlash, the deputy sheriff told FOX News that while he understood what the man did, there were no laws in place that actually allow what he did. Fortunately, the charges were eventually dropped.

Similarly, last year, a pediatrician was arrested while trying to break a car window to save an infant. Although she was stopped in the act by an officer, the firefighters called to the scene ended up doing exactly what she started to do. And then they arrested her anyway.

You read that right. GIF from "Up."

How is this possible, you ask?

The law is still behind when it comes to protecting children and pets when they're left alone in a car.

To start, not all states have laws addressing children and animals left alone in vehicles. Just 19 states have provisions that explicitly outlaw leaving children unsupervised in a car while just 16 states have measures protecting pets in this situation.

To make matters worse, the laws that are in place can be really confusing.

Now to be fair, if you break into a car to help an unattended child, you definitely could walk away without any trouble. Good Samaritan laws — where legal protection is given to people who try to help in an emergency — have been used to protect do-gooders in exactly this kind of situation.

But they're neither automatically nor systematically applied in every case. So while you may not get fined or serve jail time for saving a child in a hot car, you may have still been arrested and charged before everything is cleared. What a hassle.

The situation is even more complicated when it comes to animals. Some states ban unattended pets altogether, some only ban them under "extreme" weather conditions, and some are OK with the pet being alone as long as you leave them some food and water. Anti-cruelty laws can be used to prosecute owners in states that explicitly address animals and cars, but just like the Good Samaritan laws, they're not uniformly applied.

But there's one state that's ahead of the rest: Tennessee.

Last year, Tennessee became the first state to legally protect people from liability or arrest if they use reasonable force to break into a vehicle to save the life of a child. And in July 2015, they extended that provision to saving pets, too. Nice work, Tennessee!

The welcome feels even nicer now thanks to these new laws. Photo by jbcurio/Flickr.

When it comes to saving lives in this case, every second counts.

Last year, a Texas woman smashed the windshield of a hot, locked car to save a child in distress. In an interview with San Antonio's KENS-5, she said that other people were nearby but thought they didn't intervene because they were afraid of getting in trouble for destroying property.

Do we really want some of these vital seconds spent hesitating by a nearby do-gooder who fears being punished for doing the right thing?

Imagine how much better it'd be if people didn't have to worry about unfair consequences for helping.

According to KidsAndCars.org, an average of 38 children die every year from heat-related complications after being trapped in a hot car. The number of pets that die under the same circumstances is unknown (some have estimated thousands), but we can agree that even one is too many.

As Georgia Army veteran Michael Hammons told Fox News Insider after being arrested for saving a dog's life:

"I knew there would be consequences, but it didn't matter. I mean, glass? They make new glass every day. But she could never replace that dog."

I think we can all agree that lives > property.

Just look at those faces! AWWW. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images.

The rest of America needs to get on Tennessee's level — and fast. Because shouldn't it be easy to save lives?

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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