ALBANY, New York — Firefighters and EMS personnel are now added to the list of those authorized to remove an animal from an unattended vehicle that appears to be in distress. 

The new law is intended to reduce wait times once a 911 call is received and it's believed an animal's health is threatened when law enforcement or animal control is not in a position to respond quickly.

"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", said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and well being of animals."

The new measure takes effect immediately.