First responders could apply basic first aid to dogs and cats that are rescued from house fires or other emergencies without fear of legal action if a new pet rescue bill becomes law.
Under SB 1530 introduced by Senator Steve Glazer Friday, emergency personnel would be allowed to apply mouth-to-snout resuscitation for animals under duress.
Dr. Mark Malek with Foothill Farms Veterinarian Hospital in Sacramento says this bill makes a lot of sense.
"Writing it down on paper sort of speak, I think just gives us an indication of the signs of the times," said Malek. "It's actually really uplifting in which it recognizes the importance of pets in our society."
Chris Harvey with the Sacramento Fire Department says they've had a long history of resuscitating animals. He believes most pet owners would want their pets to be saved.
"We treat our pets like our kids," said Harvey. "Any pet owner that I've encountered has been very happy and very grateful when fire crews attempt resuscitation efforts.
In a statement, Senator Glazer says "any first responder who puts mouth-to-snout to save a poor pooch or kitty's life deserves only high praise and encouragement."
The bill doesn't require first responders to treat animals, but if they choose to, they can administer services like opening and manually maintaining an airway, giving mouth to snout ventilation, managing ventilation by mask, immobilizing fractures or controlling hemorrhage with direct pressure.
It's currently illegal for first responders to provide emergency medical services unless they are a licensed veterinarian. Anybody who violates the current law is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces a $500 to $2000 fine or a year in jail.
This legislation will allow them to provide these services legally.