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Bill to support retired police dogs moves

Senior Editor Top Stories

Police dogA proposal to provide subsidized veterinary care for retired law enforcement dogs is now moving in the Florida House.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee voted 14-0 on January 18 to approve HB 25 by Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven.

“Law enforcement dogs receive extensive training and may serve in a law enforcement role for approximately six to 10 years,” Killebrew said. “A retired law enforcement dog may have complex medical needs and may require additional, or more specialized veterinary care.”

A priority of the Animal Law Section, the measures would create a $300,000 program under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FDLE would contract with a not-for-profit organization that would oversee the distribution of up to $1,500 a year to an individual to help defray the retired law enforcement dog’s veterinary care.

Killebrew said a K9’s law enforcement partner is first in line to care for a retired dog, but when that’s not an option, civilians who agree to undergo special training may also volunteer.

HB 25 faces hearings in the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee and Judiciary before reaching the House floor. But with 13 co-sponsors, the bipartisan measure appears headed for easy passage.

A companion, SB 226 by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, cleared two committees without a negative vote. It faces one more hearing in Appropriations.

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