Rep. Fay bill to help service dogs receives ought-to-pass support

AUGUSTA — Rep. Jessica Fay’s bill to ensure working and service dogs have more access to emergency care received a unanimous “ought to pass” vote Tuesday by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

The bill clarifies existing Maine law governing treatment of animals by extending Good Samaritan liability protection to cover trained first responders who treat working and service animals in emergency situations.

“I am very pleased that the committee supported this bill,” said Fay, D-Raymond. “These dogs and the people who work with them are absolutely dedicated to each other, and this bill will give these specially trained dogs a better chance to survive a serious injury in the field.”

Among those testifying in favor of the bill were canine handlers, emergency medical services providers, and veterinarians. There was no opposition.

The bill, LD 1716, “An Act to Protect Persons Who Provide Assistance to Law Enforcement Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Service Dogs” will go before the full Legislature for a vote in the coming weeks.

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.

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