DENVER -A bill already approved by the Colorado Senate aims to encourage fire departments and other paramedics to establish policies for providing emergency care to animals in the field.

Some Colorado fire districts have taken it upon themselves to provide training and equipment to save the lives of pets in emergency situations, which can run afoul of the state's laws governing veterinary care.

SB 39, which is scheduled to be heard for the first time in a House committee Tuesday, would allow EMS organizations to decide whether to participate.

Organizations that do choose to participate would need to provide training and spell out the circumstances in which employees could administer so-called "pre-veterinary emergency care" in a written policy.

The bill has been amended to explicitly state that EMS workers are not required to provide care to dogs or cats or to provide care for those animals before attending to a person.

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