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2022 – Nero’s Law
S. 2573: An Act allowing humane transportation of K9 partners aka Nero’s law
MSPCA Position: Support Sponsors: Representative Steven Xiarhos and Senator Mark Montigny Status: Passed by the Senate on November 10, 2021. Passed by the House on February 3, 2022. Signed by the Governor February 15, 2022, Chapter 23 of the Acts of 2022.
Photo from Yarmouth Police Department Facebook
This bill allows a police dog (a dog owned by a police department or police agency of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, that is used by the department or agency for official duties) 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 will:
Allow emergency personnel to treat injured police dogs.
Allow emergency personnel to transport injured police dogs.
Require any emergency personnel that would render care to a police dog to have completed training consistent with standards approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.