Gov. Walker signs Save Our Pets emergency rescue bill into law

Cat with oxygen mask
Fond du Lac paramedics use an oxygen mask designed for animals to help a cat after a house fire on March 19, 2018 (screen capture from Facebook)

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin first responders will be able to help pets during emergency situations without waiting for a veterinarian under a bill signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker.

The Save Our Pets law was authored to allow firefighters and other emergency crews to provide emergency care to dogs, cats, and another pets.

Click here to view all 41 laws signed by Gov. Walker.

Previously, state law required licensed vets to provide care to animals. That meant first responders had to wait for an on-call vet to treat the injured animals.

State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) is one of the authors of the bill. He released this statement following the signing:

“The physical trauma that someone avoids during a car accident, house fire or other emergency situation may be offset by the emotional trauma they suffer from injuries or even death to a beloved pet. While some first responders are already treating pets at emergency scenes, they put themselves at professional risk while providing care as their actions are illegal under state law. This bill will provide first responders with the legal authority they need to continue rendering aid to families throughout Wisconsin, regardless of whether the family member walks on two legs or four.”

The new law states first responders must attend to human victims before they work to save pets.

The bill was authored by Cowles, Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay).

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