NY STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES LEGISLATION TO PERMIT FIREFIGHTERS TO PROTECT COMPANION ANIMALS FROM EXTREME TEMPERATURES IN MOTOR VEHICLES
Legislation Sponsored by Assemblymen Thiele and Murray Passes 139-0
State legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Fred Thiele and Dean Murray of Suffolk County passed the State Assembly unanimously, 139-0, expanding who can rescue companion animals from extreme temperatures while confined in a motor vehicle. In addition to Thiele and Murray, the bill was sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition of 20 other Assembly members. Current law prohibits the confinement of a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold temperatures without proper ventilation or other protections from such extreme temperatures, where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury. It provides a procedure that a police officer, peace officer, or peace officer acting as an agent of a duly incorporated humane society, may take action to remove the animal or animals from the vehicle in cases where the operator of such vehicle cannot be promptly located. These officers cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for actions taken reasonably and in good faith in carrying out this law. The Thiele/Murray legislation would expand the law by adding thousands of paid and volunteer firefighters, located in communities all over the State to the current law, by giving them the same authority to rescue companion animals as police and peace officers. There is no doubt that this bill will result in the saving of pets’ lives in these dangerous situations by substantially expanding who can respond to a pet in distress. Firefighters are equipped and trained to act in these situations. This legislation will allow our firefighters to put that training to good use when a pet is threatened by extreme temperatures in a motor vehicle. The bill now goes to the State Senate for final approval.
NYS Assemblyman NYS Assemblyman
Fred Thiele Dean Murray