AUGUSTA –Among the bills that the Legislature will consider in the upcoming session is “An Act to Protect Working and Service Animals,” sponsored by Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond.
Under current law, if a police dog is injured or exposed to drugs, an on-duty EMT is prohibited from stabilizing the animal before transport to an emergency clinic. If approved, the bill would extend Good Samaritan liability protection to cover trained first responders who treat working and service animals in emergency situations.
“I am pleased that the Legislative Council voted to let this bill be heard by the whole Legislature next year,” said Fay. “It was a privilege to present this on behalf of my constituent, Officer Cole, who is a police canine handler. Many K9 handlers have stepped up to say this bill will address concerns they have about availability of emergency treatment for their dogs in the field.”
During even-numbered years, the Legislature generally limits bill submissions to those that address emergencies and other pressing situations. The Legislative Council, which is made up of each party’s leaders in the Maine House and Senate, decides which bills fit the criteria. The Legislative Council approved only 63 bills out of the 268 proposed when they met Thursday.
The bill will be heard when the Legislature meets again in January.
Fay is serving her first term in the Maine Legislature and represents part of Casco, part of Poland and part of Raymond. She serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.