COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 187, which 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 introduced by Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) 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.

“During the formulation of this bill, my office met and conferred with many interested parties and I am glad to report I have received wide support for this common sense legislation, including support from the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, the ASPCA, the Ohio Voters for Companion Animals and many emergency responders,” said Ginter.

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 will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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