***Update June 27, 2016***
Months after a law allowing first responders to administer first aid to pets passed Ohio’s House, lawmakers in the state have finally made it pawfficial.
Dr. Ed Cooper, head of emergency and critical care at Ohio State University’s Veterinary Medical Center, told NBC:
The hope in having this law passed is really just to give first responders the opportunity and extend the option without the potential for recourse to assist pets as well as people in these kinds of crisis situations.
This law is pivotal, not only in saving the lives of our pets, but in encouraging government officials to recognize pets as sentient beings and members of our family.
This will probably surprise you, but not all first responders are allowed to treat dogs and cats during emergencies, like fires. The reason for this is to protect the first responders from liability. However, by denying pets immediate treatment, they were also risking the lives of dogs and cats.
Thankfully, Ohio is about to pass a law permitting first responders to administer things like mouth to snout resuscitation, as well as control bleeding and bandage wounds.
In the past, EMTs and other rescuers have been unsure of whether or not they can administer life-saving treatment to animals. All pets are sent to emergency veterinary care after incidents. Just like with humans, receiving immediate treatment is sometimes critical in saving an animal’s life. This legislation may help to keep thousands of dogs in Ohio alive.
The bill passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, December 9 with a vote of 89-0. It’s now headed to the Ohio Senate for approval.
We are so glad Ohio lawmakers (as well as lawmakers in other states) and first responders are working to save the lives of our best friends! High paws!