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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 28, 2019 02:10 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola and Sen. Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Civil Liability Immunity for Rendering Aid to a Police Animal
In the near future, we plan to reintroduce legislation to provide civil liability immunity for the voluntary practice of emergency care for police animals harmed or injured in the line of duty.

For the purposes of this legislation, this would include K-9 dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, search and rescue dogs, and fire service dogs used for arson investigation, which are all defined in Title 18.

This civil immunity bill is being put forth along with our veterinary practice immunity legislation.

Currently in Pennsylvania, guidelines or standards for an emergency response to a K9 or police animal that is seriously injured in the line of duty are lacking. The purpose of this legislation is to provide protection through a Good Samaritan effort to individuals such as volunteers that receive training in the response, assessment, care and transport of these animals to a veterinary hospital or clinic.

As a legislature, we have made the commitment that police animals are valuable resources to our departments and to our communities. This bill is about protecting those valued assets, and protecting the investment that many departments and communities make into these hard-working animals.

The care of police animals comes secondary after any injured persons that may require or need medical attention. Moreover, those participating in the care and transportation of police animals do so on a voluntary basis, so it is important to note that EMTs, paramedics, medivac personnel, veterinarians or veterinary clinics or hospitals are not mandated to participate. Volunteer emergency responders would be trained in proper protocol on first aid and certain triage treatment of animals in order to help to prevent life-threatening circumstances from rising before the animal reaches veterinary care.

We genuinely ask for your support and consideration of co-sponsoring this legislation, and standing with those who want to provide emergency care to these animals and the officers and handlers that call these animals their partner.

‚ÄčThe co-sponsors for last session included senators: Costa, Browne, Tartaglione, Bartolotta, Folmer, Killion, Rafferty, Reschenthaler, Vogel & Vulakovich.

Introduced as SB477