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New England News

New Mass. Law Seeks To Protect Pets From Suffering In Hot Cars

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the law Wednesday.
Twitter: @MassGovernor
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the law Wednesday.

Animal activists are praising a new Massachusetts law aimed at preventing animals from suffering or even dying when left in hot cars.Republican Governor Charlie Baker held a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday to highlight the law.

The measure bars pet owners from leaving their animals locked in cars in extreme heat or cold. It also allows a passerby to break a car window and free the animal if it appears to be in imminent danger. Baker says it’s an action he hopes no ever has to take.

“Certainly if people find themselves in that situation, first responders or regular citizens, I’m glad they’ll have the ability to do that recognizing that under state law their act of Good Samaritan-ship will be protected,” said Baker.

A person would first need to make a reasonable effort to find the animal's owner and then call the police before taking such action. The passerby also would have to remain with the animal until police arrived. The law also limits how long dog owners can tether their dogs outside during extreme weather.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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