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 on the scene.
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.