A State House News Service article written by Katie Lannan on January 28, 2019 details legislation filed by Representative Will Crocker that would allow police canines who have been injured in the line of duty to be treated and transported by EMS providers.
‘Nero’s Bill’ would allow emergency treatment for police dogs
When Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon and his partner, a dog named Nero, were shot while serving a warrant last year, Gannon was brought to the hospital in ambulance but Nero had to wait for a retired K9 officer to arrive on the scene and bring him to a veterinary hospital.
Emergency personnel would be able to treat and transport injured police dogs under a bill filed by a Cape Cod lawmaker.
Sponsored by Centerville Republican Rep. Will Crocker, the legislation is dubbed “Nero’s Bill” in honor of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon’s canine.
Nero was injured in the April 2018 shooting that killed Gannon, but, under current state law, could not be treated or transported by the Emergency Medical Service providers who responded, according to Crocker’s office. Instead, the dog waited until a retired K9 officer arrived at the scene to help with his injuries and drive him to an emergency veterinary hospital.
“Canine police officers are an integral part of the law enforcement community and are considered members of the department,” Crocker said in a statement. “It only seems appropriate that, when it comes to being treated for any injuries incurred while on the job, they should be treated like any other member of the force.”
Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said the bill would “take away any hesitation for first responders to administer emergency care to operational K9s and transport them to a veterinary hospital without fear of the sanctions that currently exist.”
Crocker’s bill (HD 1331) is one of thousands that lawmakers filed at the start this two-year legislative session. It has not yet been assigned to a committee for review.
Cape Cod’s other lawmakers – Sen. Julian Cyr and Reps. Sarah Peake, Dylan Fernandes and Tim Whelan – are among the 13 legislators to sign on as initial co-sponsors.