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Cuomo signs law allowing emergency responders to remove distressed animals left in motor vehicles

Posted 31 July 2019 at 12:26 pm

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5054/A.7053) authorizing firefighters and other emergency medical responders to remove animals in unattended motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being. This legislation will help reduce wait times when calls are made to 911 that a pet is in danger, especially in areas and at times when law enforcement or animal control availability is limited. The bill goes into effect immediately.

“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals.”

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.  Too often we hear stories about an animal who has died due to the reckless behavior of its owner.  This measure will offer greater protections to our precious pets and penalize those who put them in harms way.”

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele said, “In the summer months, we are reminded of the danger that the confinement of pets in motor vehicles can pose when temperatures inside vehicles can soar to life-threatening extremes within minutes. This important measure will result in the saving of beloved pets’ lives in these dangerous situations by substantially expanding who can respond to a pet in distress. Firefighters and EMS personnel are equipped and trained to act in these situations. This will allow our firefighters to put that training to good use when a pet is threatened by extreme temperatures in a motor vehicle.”

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