It's now legal for some in New York to break a car's window if an animal is left in a car.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation authorizing firefighters and other emergency medical responders to remove animals in unattended motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being.

"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," 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."

The bill 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, officials say.

"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," Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said. This measure will offer greater protections to our precious pets and penalize those who put them in harms way."

The bill goes into effect immediately.

"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," Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele said. 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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