Senator David Balmer (R-Centennial) today issued the following statement applauding the passage of his bill which enables EMTs to provide emergency stabilizing care for dogs and cats (SB 14-039):
“I’m happier than my dogs running in the off-leash area of the park,” said Senator Balmer. “Dogs and cats are an important part of many Coloradans lives and this legislation helps to ensure we protect them whenever possible. “
Dogs and cats often are injured in auto accidents, fires, floods or other emergencies. Most fire departments across Colorado already encourage their EMTs to provide emergency stabilizing care to dogs and cats. However, providing such care technically is a violation of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.
Senator Balmer worked for four months with the Colorado Veterinary Medicine Association and the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado to write SB 14-039. Both organizations have endorsed the bill. SB 14-039 enables 100% voluntary opt-in and does not mandate such care. Most fire districts already do this, so this bill just creates the statutory authority on an opt-in basis. Senator Balmer is honored to have Representatives Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Lois Court (D-Denver) as the House Sponsors.
Senator Balmer’s 2013 Dog Protection Act to provide police officers training to prevent most dog shootings was the first such law passed in the United States. All 100 Legislators voted for the Dog Protection Act, and the Governor signed it into law in May 2013.