PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The focus of a new ordinance being introduced by Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Darlene Harris is all about protecting area pets.

The legislation gives police, firefighters, paramedics and animal control officers legal permission to break into a vehicle if they have reason to believe an animal has been left inside and is in danger; for example, on a hot day.

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However, officers would have to try to contact the owner first.

Click here to read the full ordinance.

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“It is estimated that hundreds of pets die each year from heat stroke or dehydration when left unattended in a vehicle,” said Councilwoman Harris in a press release.

Harris says the legislation is similar to laws adopted in 17 other states.

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