Rep. Morrison: A bill to protect Hoosier families and pets passes Indiana House

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Tuesday, January 28, 2014

STATEHOUSE – A bill to protect pets and Hoosier families passed unanimously out of the House and will now go to the Senate for further consideration. State Representative Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute) authored House Bill (HB) 1013 which will require veterinarian medical records to be released within five business days in situations when one pet attacks another pet or human.

“I authored House Bill 1013 after I was contacted by Jill Shuey, a concerned constituent, whose dog was attacked by another dog. In her situation, Jill experienced difficulty obtaining the medical records of the attacking dog since state law did not require veterinarians to release those documents,” said Rep. Morrison. “Without those medical records, Jill was concerned that her dog could potentially be carrying a disease from the other dog. House Bill 1013 would address this problem by requiring veterinarians to release the medical records, within five business days, in situations like Jill’s.”

Currently, veterinarians are not required by state law to release medical records when one pet attacks another pet or human. In Shuey’s example, the veterinarian’s office was hesitant to release that information without the necessary requirement in place. As a result, Shuey was unable to obtain the other dog’s medical records until one month after the incident and involving local law enforcement.

“I understand the concerns that families have if their child or household pet was bitten and they were unable to obtain the attacking animal’s medical records,” said Rep. Morrison. “For the safety of Hoosiers, we want to make sure that this information is easily accessible and provided in a timely manner, so House Bill 1013 provides a common sense solution to preventing these types of situations from reoccurring.”

If enacted, HB 1013 would require veterinarians to release the medical records when one pet attacks anther pet or human within five business days. Once requested, the records would be released to the victim’s veterinarian or physician in order to determine what treatment, if at all, is necessary to ensure proper medical care takes place.

"Less than three months after my initial contact with Rep. Morrison, there is a bill passed by the House and on its way to the Senate -truly impressive,” said Jill Shuey. “I never dreamed a solution could occur so quickly.  I am very grateful to Rep. Morrison for his swift assistance on this issue. Because of his efforts, and everyone else in the House, if the bill is passed in the Senate, medical records of an attacking dog will be promptly released to enable proper medical care of the victim."

Visit www.in.gov/legislative to learn more about HB 1013.

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