New York Law Aims To Speed Up The Rescue Of Trapped Pets Firefighters and emergency medical teams in New York state will not have to wait for the police to arrive to remove a pet from a dangerously hot or cold car. They can break into a car themselves.
NPR logo Leave A Pet In A Hot Car In New York? Expect A Broken Window

Leave A Pet In A Hot Car In New York? Expect A Broken Window

The Animal Rescue League offered this demonstration last year in Boston, with a stuffed dog, on how hot the inside of a car can get. Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Animal Rescue League offered this demonstration last year in Boston, with a stuffed dog, on how hot the inside of a car can get.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure expanding the number of public officials who can break into a vehicle to rescue an endangered pet from an extremely hot or cold car.

Until now, only the police could escape liability for damaging a vehicle in order to rescue a pet. The new law says firefighters and emergency medical professionals will not be liable when they help a pet.

The new law is intended to speed up the rescue of pets since potential rescuers such as firefighters and EMTs will not have to wait for the police to arrive.

Animal advocates had supported the measure before it became law.

"No animal deserves to die an agonizing and unnecessary death in extreme heat conditions and from being trapped in a hot car," said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, in a blog post earlier this month. "With greater awareness and greater latitude for Samaritan interventions, we can make this world a safer and better one for our animal companions."

Michigan State University has this rundown of state laws on leaving animals in hot cars.