NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4464
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the
confinement of companion animals in vehicles in extreme temperatures
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this legislation is to protect persons acting reasonably
and in good faith from criminal and civil liability resulting from
removing a companion animal from a vehicle in extreme temperatures.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The bill amends Section 353-d of the Agriculture and Markets Law to
allow a person to remove a companion animal from a vehicle in extreme
temperatures without civil or criminal liability. A person must take
necessary steps before removing animal: *Check to see if the vehicle
doors are unlocked;
*Make a good faith effort to locate the owner of the vehicle that the
animal is in;
*Call the police or 911; and
*Call the local Animal Control Officer or Humane Society.
If after all these steps have been completed and the person determines
that an animal is in imminent danger, he or she may break a window.
The animal owner will be held liable for any veterinary care necessary
due to being left in the extreme temperature.
Any such animal which is turned over to the local Humane Society shall
be held for a held for at least three (3) days before being put up for
Recent current events brought to the attention that New York State law
does not currently protect all individuals from civil and criminal
liability if they break a vehicle's window in order remove a companion
animal from a vehicle in extreme temperatures. This legislation moves to
remedy that problem by protecting all persons removing an animal from a
motor vehicle in extreme temperatures. The Humane Society of the United
States notes that on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with
the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Extreme
temperatures can cause animals left in the car to sustain brain damage,
heatstroke, suffocation, or death. Pets respond differently to heat than
humans do, hot temperatures are extra hard on dogs, who can only cool
themselves down by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.4630 of 2019-20 A.5609 of 2017-18 A.7715A of 2015-16
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
February 4, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. MORINELLO, SAYEGH, DeSTEFANO, BRABENEC, McDO-
NOUGH, B. MILLER, DiPIETRO, MIKULIN, SALKA -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
of A. MANKTELOW, WALSH -- read once and referred to the Committee on
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the
confinement of companion animals in vehicles in extreme temperatures
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 353-d of the agriculture and markets law, as added
2 by chapter 137 of the laws of 2019, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 353-d. Confinement of companion animals in vehicles: extreme temper-
4 atures. 1. A person shall not confine a companion animal in a motor
5 vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other
6 protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places
7 the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical
8 injury due to exposure to such extreme heat or cold. For the purposes
9 of this section, extreme temperatures shall be defined as any temper-
10 ature lower than thirty-two degrees fahrenheit or higher than seventy
11 degrees fahrenheit.
12 2. Where the operator of such a vehicle cannot be promptly located, a
13 [police officer, peace officer, peace officer acting as an agent of a
14 duly incorporated humane society, emergency medical services personnel,
15 paid firefighter, or volunteer firefighter who in the performance of
16 such volunteer firefighter's duties are directed to respond to a call
17 for assistance for such animal] person may take necessary steps to
18 remove the animal or animals from the vehicle. Necessary steps shall
20 (a) checking to see if any of the doors to the vehicle are unlocked;
21 (b) making a good faith effort to locate the owner of the vehicle; and
22 (c) calling the police or 911.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 4464 2
1 If after all these steps have been completed and a person determines
2 an animal is in imminent danger, he or she may break a window to remove
3 the animal from the vehicle.
4 Upon arrival at the vehicle, the responding police officer or officers
5 shall take custody of the animal and ensure it is taken to a location
6 designated by the municipality where the incident occurred.
7 3. [Police officers, peace officers, peace officers acting as agents
8 of a duly incorporated humane society, emergency medical services
9 personnel, paid firefighters, or volunteer firefighters who in the
10 performance of such volunteer firefighters' duties or emergency medical
11 services personnel are directed to respond to a call for assistance for
12 such animal] A person removing an animal or animals from a vehicle
13 pursuant to this section shall place a written notice on or in the vehi-
14 cle, bearing the name of [the officer or agent, and the department or
15 agency and address] such person and the location designated by the muni-
16 cipality and other contact information, if available, where the animal
17 or animals will be taken by the responding police officer or officers of
18 the municipality where the incident occurred.
19 4. An animal or animals removed from a vehicle pursuant to this
20 section shall[, after receipt of any necessary emergency veterinary
21 treatment, be delivered to the duly incorporated humane society or soci-
22 ety for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or designated agent there-
23 of,] be turned over by the responding the police officer or officers to
24 a location designated by the municipality where the incident occurred in
25 the jurisdiction where the animal or animals were seized.
26 5. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of subdivision one
27 of this section shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of
28 not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for a
29 first offense, and a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more
30 than two hundred and fifty dollars for a second and subsequent offenses.
31 6. [Officers, emergency medical services personnel and firefighters]
32 Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of subdivision one of
33 this section shall be responsible for the cost of any necessary veteri-
34 nary care that results from such violation.
35 7. If the location designated by the municipality where the incident
36 occurred is the local humane society, the animal shall be held for a
37 minimum of three days before it is put up for adoption.
38 8. A person acting under this section shall not be held criminally or
39 civilly liable for actions taken reasonably and in good faith in carry-
40 ing out the provisions of this section.
41 [7.] 9. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to affect
42 any other protections afforded to companion animals under any other
43 provisions of this article.
44 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.