Baker signs pet protection law

Printed from:

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed into law a new series of protections for animals, including measures aimed at discouraging leaving pets in cars when temperatures grow extremely hot or cold.

Originally filed by Sen. Mark Montigny of New Bedford, the law will make clear that first-responders encountering a pet in a hot or cold car can break the window to rescue the animal from dangerous temperatures. Under the law, private citizens, too, can enter a car to release an animal in “imminent danger” if they make “reasonable efforts” to locate the owner, call 911, remain with the animal until a first responder arrives and do not use “more force than reasonably necessary to enter the motor vehicle.”

“This legislation will help protect animals that provide endless amounts of love and affection from abusive and downright criminal conduct,” Montigny said in a statement announcing the signing of his bill. “I would like to thank Governor Baker for his support, and stress that if you see an animal in distress call 911 and break the window. It’s time we put the animal first.”

Other provisions in the new law include a ban on chaining or tethering a dog for more than five hours or for more than 15 minutes while accompanied by an owner between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

A formal ceremony to mark the signing of the bill will be held next week, according to Montigny’s office.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service