Approve bill on treating animals

Obviously, first responders to emergencies such as vehicle crashes and fires should make helping human victims their top priority. Then, if necessary, they can provide medical treatment for injured animals, perhaps beloved pets of the humans involved.

No, they cannot. In Ohio, emergency medical technicians are not permitted to treat animals at accident scenes or in other situations when help is needed.

A bill in the House of Representatives would change that. It would permit EMTs to treat injured animals – but only after all assistance needed by humans has been provided.

Of course, the measure should make that perfectly clear. It also should provide “good Samaritan” protections protecting EMTs from liability for their work with animals, similar to the same safeguards already on the books regarding humans.

Members of one House committee already have agreed the bill is a good idea. Lawmakers in both the House and state Senate should approve it – so EMTs no longer have to tell people their pets must suffer and perhaps die.