Bill helping to cover vet bills for retired law enforcement dog clears Legislative Assembly


A bill allowing owners of retired law enforcement dogs to recoup a portion of their pet’s veterinary bills passed the lower house of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

SB 226, which passed the Senate last week, was approved by the House 117-0. The legislation allows former dog handlers or adopters of retired law enforcement dogs who have served for five years or more to get up to $1,500 per year for veterinary expenses.

The bill provides recurring funding of $300,000 from the general fund to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to fund the program.

The bill defines a retired law enforcement dog as a dog previously in service or employed by a Florida law enforcement agency for the purpose of assisting in the detection of criminal activity, law enforcement or apprehension of offenders who has been certified in work of obedience and apprehension. The bill requires FDLE to contract with a nonprofit corporation selected through a competitive grantmaking process to administer the grant program.

Democratic senator. Bobby Powellthe sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said during the introduction of the bill last stop of the committee that law enforcement dogs are unique partners in the fight against crime.

“They have capabilities that far exceed those of any human being or any technology we have,” Powell said. “They provide extremely cost-effective approaches to fighting crime.”

Rep. Republican. Sam Killebrewthe sponsor of the bill, said during his House committee final stop that the training police dogs need is intensive and exhausts them, giving them more chronic problems at older ages than normal dogs.

“I sort of liken them to an NFL player after playing 10 to 12 years – they’re pretty well beaten,” Killebrew said.

During the meeting, Killebrew also passed an amendment expanding eligibility for dogs injured in the line of duty. If a dog is serving a three-year sentence and then an injury forces them to retire, they will still be eligible for funding.

Improving the treatment of law enforcement dogs has been a theme over the past two sessions. A bill during the 2021 legislative session allowed paramedics to provide on-scene care and transportation to police dogs as they would human law enforcement officers.


The final stop on the bill is Gov. Ron DeSantis desk.

Post views:


Comments are closed.