S. 1606/H. 2547: An Act providing for the care and transportation of police dogs injured in the line of duty, a.k.a. “Nero’s Bill” and “Nero’s Law”
MSPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Representative Steven Xiarhos and Senator Mark Montigny
Status: Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
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.
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 rescued due to existing state law that prohibits working animals from being treated or transported by emergency personnel. Instead, Nero had to wait nearly four hours before a retired K9 police officer could arrive on scene to retrieve Nero and help with his injuries before he was driven to the emergency veterinary hospital.
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.