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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

ORS 686.440

Summary Title

Good Samaritan Law: Veterinarian Providing Emergency Treatment

Summary

A veterinarian or veterinary technician, who is unable to contact the owner of a seriously injured or seriously ill animal brought before them for care and who provides emergency treatment or euthanasia to the animal, will not be held legally responsible for acting or for failing to act. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm. Generally, Good Samaritan laws only offer protection for those individuals who provide care during spontaneous emergencies unrelated to volunteer deployment.

Full Title

Immunity from civil liability for emergency treatment

Full Text

(1) A veterinarian or veterinary technician is not civilly liable for the acts or omissions described in subsection (2) of this section if: (a) The animal has been brought to the veterinarian or veterinary technician by a person other than the owner of the animal; and (b) The veterinarian or veterinary technician does not know who owns the animal or is unable to contact an owner of the animal before a decision must be made with respect to emergency treatment or euthanasia. (2) The immunity granted by this section applies to: (a) Any injury to an animal or death of an animal that results from acts or omissions of the veterinarian or veterinary technician in providing treatment to the animal; and (b) The euthanasia of a seriously injured or seriously ill animal. (3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, this section does not apply to any act or omission of a veterinarian or veterinary technician that constitutes gross negligence in providing treatment to an animal. (4) A veterinarian is completely immune from any civil liability for the decision to euthanize an animal under the circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section.