By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — State lawmakers have unveiled proposed legislation to protect pets left unattended in vehicles.

The legislation is called the “Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act.” If it becomes law, owners of dogs or cats could be cited for a summary offense if they leave their pet in an unattended vehicle.

But perhaps more importantly, authorities would be able to remove the animal from the vehicle if the animal is believed to be in danger, following a reasonable search for the owner. Bucks County House Republican Frank Farry, a co-sponsor of the legislation, has unique perspective.

“I currently serve as the chief of the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company. So once this issue becomes law, I will have the ability to make those rescues, without facing the liability.” says Farry. “So I will be one of those responders that has the opportunity to get the pet out of the vehicle.”

17 other states have similar legislation to protect pets in vehicles.