Gov. Cuomo signs law protecting pets from abandonment if owner is evicted

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law on Thursday that will protect pets from being abandoned if their owners are evicted.

The new law requires officers who execute an eviction warrant to check the property for pets and to coordinate the animals' safe removal with the owner.

"I know firsthand how pets quickly become members of your family and it is absurd that in these instances a living animal can be treated the same as a possession and be put in harm's way," Cuomo said.

Before this law, evicted tenants couldn't retrieve anything from the property until an inventory was completed and those items were stored. There was no distinction between the treatment of furniture and animals, which could result in the abandonment of pets.

"The No Pet Left Behind Law recognizes that pets should not be treated like property when their family is evicted, and it will ensure that plans are made for their care," Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said. "Cats are not like couches, dogs are not like dining tables."

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