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S. 2573/H. 2547: An Act providing for the care and transportation of police dogs injured in the line of duty, a.k.a. “Nero’s Law”
MSPCA Position: Support Sponsors: Representative Steven Xiarhos and Senator Mark Montigny Status: S. 2573 was passed to be engrossed by the Senate on November 10, 2021. H. 2547 reported favorably and referred to House Committee on Ways and Means.
Photo from Yarmouth Police Department Facebook
This bill would allow a law enforcement dog injured in the line of duty to be transported in an ambulance if there is not competing need for human transport. Similar laws already exist in several other states. California, Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin allow pre-veterinary treatment for dogs and cats by EMS. Mississippi, New York, Illinois, and Michigan allow for police K9s to be transported by EMS. And Maine allows for police K9s and service dogs to be treated and transported by EMS. Similar bills are pending in eight additional states.
The town of Yarmouth suffered an incredible tragedy in April of 2018 when Sergeant Sean Gannon was killed in the line of duty. Also injured in this vicious attack was Gannon’s canine partner, Nero. Nero suffered life-threatening injuries and was unable to be treated by emergency medical personnel due to existing state law that prohibits working animals from being treated or transported by emergency personnel.
This legislation would:
Allow emergency personnel to treat injured operational working animals.
Allow emergency personnel to transport injured operational working animals.
Require any emergency personnel that would render care to an operational working animal to have completed training consistent with standards approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.