Law Allows First Responders to Rescue Distressed Animals From Cars

Firefighters and EMTs are now allowed to rescue distressed animals that are left in unattended vehicles.

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Pets trapped in hot cars have extra help available to them thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo's newly signed law. The legislation allows firefighters and other first responders to remove animals from unattended vehicles in conditions that may risk their health, such as extreme heat or cold. The law is effective immediately.

This law will increase response times to 911 calls. Firefighters and EMT will be able to remove an endangered animal and do not have to wait for police or animal control to arrive.  

In a statement issued by the Governor’s office, Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said, "By authorizing emergency medical service personnel and firefighters to remove animals from cars in extreme heat or cold situations, we reduce wait times saving critical minutes and the lives of innocent animals. In areas with limited police resources, this new law becomes even more important as it expands the number of emergency personnel who can respond to a desperate situation where a helpless animal is in imminent danger and the owner cannot be located.."

Governor Cuomo said, "Leaving a pet in a stifling hot or freezing cold car is inhumane and potentially dangerous, and emergency responders should have the ability to remove them if necessary. As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals."