Evansville Police Department sergeant, local lawmaker team up for K9 bill

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- It can be a ruff world for canines in law enforcement and public safety but one Evansville Police Department Sergeant fought to make life easier for man’s best friend.

Sgt. Mark Saltzman reached out to local lawmaker Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) last year about changing a state law that makes it illegal for paramedics and EMTs to treat and transport animals injured in the line of duty.

Rep. McNamara and Sgt. Saltzman say an EMT in Indiana was fired last year for treating an animal wounded in the line of duty. House Bill 1201, which has already passed the House and Senate, would allow EMTs and paramedics to treat animals, though the priority will remain on humans.

While Sgt. Saltzman serves for the City of Evansville, he sees the benefit of the legislation especially in rural areas where veterinary care could be especially hard to come by. As is stands, Saltzman says officers must take wounded animals in their own car to find care, which he adds could take up to 40 minutes in some areas.

Saltzman says being able to care for animals could also provide a savings for taxpayers. By providing care for animals quickly, Saltzman says, fewer animals could lose their life and agencies would not have to pay and train a new dog.

(This story was originally published on March 26, 2021)

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