Animal activists are praising a new Massachusetts law aimed at preventing animals from suffering or even dying when left in hot cars.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker held a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday to highlight the new 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. 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.

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