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State lawmakers considering bill that would allow first responders to save pets

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- State lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier to save pets in an emergency. 

Currently, only licensed veterinarians are allowed to treat pets in an emergency but that can take more than an hour.

A new bill proposed would allow first responders to save animals. Police K9 officers brought their German Shepherds to the statehouse to testify.

They say the bill would also save police dogs who get injured while performing their duty.

Officers say a lot of first responders do this already but many are hesitant to save pets because it's illegal and they risk being sued.

"A lot of our EMS personnel already carry such equipment such as oxygen masks that vets donate that they can treat these animals with. Because people put such a value on their pets, I know I do, sometimes these pets are like children to these people and they want to see that EMS is willing and can even try to treat their animals as well," asid Holly McManus, a St. Francis K9 Officer.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says they already offer free classes to show officers how to save their police dogs and say a rule change would definitely lead to more first responders taking that class and ultimately saving animals.

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