Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

42 Pa.C.S.A 8331.1

Summary Title

Good Samaritan Law: Veterinary Professional


A licensed veterinary professional who, in good faith, provides emergency care to an animal at the scene of an emergency without the owner present will not be held legally responsible for acting or 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

Veterinary Good Samaritan Civil Immunity

Full Text

(a) General rule. — Any individual licensed to practice veterinary medicine who, in good faith, renders emergency care to any animal which such individual has discovered at the scene of an accident or emergency situation or which has immediately prior to the rendering of such care been brought to such individual’s attention at or from the scene of any accident or emergency situation shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm, or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the animal. (b) Definition. — As used in this section, “good faith” shall include, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed until the animal is hospitalized. (c) Exception. — This section shall not apply where the owner of the animal is in attendance and can be consulted as to the proposed action by the veterinarian.