Bill to allow responders to aid animals without prosecution

Maryland law makes it illegal to provide medical care to an animal without a veterinary license

By EMS1 Staff

PIKESVILLE, Md. — Firefighters not only help save people, but also animals. However, is it legal to help the latter?

According to Maryland state law, providing medical care without a veterinary license could result in a fine or jail time, the Washington Post reported. Yet, no one has been prosecuted or been sued for helping an animal during a crisis.

A bill, passed by Maryland lawmakers, would make the state the latest to allow responders to provide aid to animals and have immunity from being charged. In total, 22 states allow responders to provide aid to animals without fear of prosecution.

"You get kind of used to the job and used to seeing tragedy every day," Mark Driscoll, an EMT and instructor with the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute, said. "Rescuing animals gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, reminding you why you're doing what you're doing."

The bill is expected to be signed by dog-loving Gov. Larry Hogan.

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