KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky is the only state that doesn’t allow veterinarians to report animal abuse if they suspect it, but a bill making its way through the legislature could change that.
Currently, vets can only report suspected abuse if they have permission from the owner.
However, proposed Senate Bill 21 would allow a vet with an animal in their care they believe has been abused to report it to law enforcement.
The bill also reads: “A veterinarian making a report in good faith under this section shall be immune from liability arising from the report.”
“I think this is a common-sense change in the law," Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders said. "I wonder how we got this long in the first place. It makes no sense that vets are prohibited from reporting animal cruelty abuse.”
It’s a particularly important piece of legislation in the Commonwealth, which ranks 47th in the nation for animal protection laws, according to a recent report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Dr. Ryan Olexia owns Fort Mitchell Veterinary Center. He agrees the bill is a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting animals.
“People become veterinarians because we love and care about animals and want to take care of them," Olexia said. "This legislation would untie our hands and give us the opportunity to do that.”
The bill was introduced in the Senate last month. You can check on where it stands now here.