Assembly Bill 797, called the Right to Rescue Act, was signed into law by Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday.
According to bill co-author Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, "AB 797 provides legal immunity for a person who damages a car in a good faith effort to save an animal from dangerous conditions while trapped in a hot car."
Citizens must first call the police or animal control to report that a pet is in danger. If authorities do not arrive quickly enough, and if the animal is in imminent danger, citizens can act to save the animal without liability for vehicle damages.