State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) today applauded Governor Kasich’s approval of House Bill 187, legislation that permits Ohio’s first responders to provide certain medical services to an injured dog or cat at the scene of an emergency, prior to transferring the animal to a veterinary care facility.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Ginter, who was approached with the idea by a constituent who was concerned that a Columbiana County police canine may be lost due to a drug overdose while on the job. Emergency personnel standing by would not have authority to save the canine officer’s life, meaning that not only would an innocent life be lost, but the taxpayer dollars used to train and care for the dog would also lost.

“Most importantly, this bill will protect canine units and service animals which may be injured at the scene of a response,” said Rep. Ginter. “H.B. 187 gained bipartisan cosponsorship from 32 legislators and all unanimous votes as it progressed through both chambers.”

In an emergency situation, when both humans and animals may be harmed, first responders and EMTs arrive on the scene to treat the injured humans. While treating them, EMTs are often unsure whether they can also provide basic care to any animals that may be injured as well. The legislation simply clarifies that emergency medical personnel are allowed to provide certain specific services to care for those animals. 

Additionally, HB 187 grants immunities to professionals providing animal care as long as they are acting in good faith and not in willful misconduct.

House Bill 187 was signed into law by Governor Kasich this week.

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