Governor Signs Bill Authorizing Emergency Responders to Remove Distressed Animals Left in Motor Vehicles

August 1, 2019

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that their legislation authorizing firefighters and other emergency medical responders to remove animals in unattended motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being has been signed into Law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. This measure (A.7053/S.5054) will help reduce wait times when 911 calls are made alerting authorities that a pet is in danger, especially when the availability of law enforcement or animal control is limited. The bill goes into effect immediately.

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."

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 that 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 harm’s way."