House fires and traffic collisions are horrendous for anyone involved, whether it's those directly affected or the bystanders that witness the event unfold, but how often do you spare a thought for the pets that might have been caught up in such occurrences? It's not uncommon for furry family members to get swept into tragedy alongside their pet parents, but the law often dictates the manner in which they can be treated. For example, did you know that most states prohibit first responders from administering first aid to pets they find at the scene? In order to protect the emergency services, only licensed veterinarians are legally allowed to treat injured pets – legislation that often risks a pet's life.
Now, however, the times are changing. This spring, Ohio passed new legislation that actually protects first responders who choose to administer lifesaving aid to any pet in crisis, making it among the first states to do so. It is hoped that Ohio's example will soon be followed, removing any hesitation during situations of crisis and saving the lives of countless pets. Without fear of liability, first responders across Ohio may now provide oxygen, perform resuscitation, attempt to stem bleeding, apply bandages, and even administer antidotes to pets that have ingested harmful chemicals – a huge catalogue of potentially lifesaving treatments that they may once have been too afraid to apply for fear of reprisals.
While we understand the concerns involved with treating a pet at a scene of crisis, we were thrilled to hear of this new piece of legislation. Our pets are huge parts of our families, and the idea of them being denied treatment is heartbreaking. Hopefully, more states across the country will follow Ohio to make lifesaving treatment available to all our pets.