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Florida lawmaker seeks to aid retired police dogs

A bill filed Wednesday would create a program to pay for their veterinary care.
Taco, a German shepherd, attends the Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, with his hander, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Matt Aitken, at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens in Palm Harbor. The 13th annual service honored K-9 service dogs from area police and sheriff's departments including the Clearwater Police Department, the Pinellas Park Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, who attended to remember the retired K-9s who have passed away. This year 75 dogs are interred at the Memory Gardens where three new dogs have been memorialized.
Taco, a German shepherd, attends the Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, with his hander, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Matt Aitken, at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens in Palm Harbor. The 13th annual service honored K-9 service dogs from area police and sheriff's departments including the Clearwater Police Department, the Pinellas Park Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, who attended to remember the retired K-9s who have passed away. This year 75 dogs are interred at the Memory Gardens where three new dogs have been memorialized. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Aug. 4

With the proposal saying dogs are an “integral part of many law enforcement efforts statewide,” a Republican lawmaker wants to create a program to pay for the veterinary care of retired police dogs.

Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven, filed the proposal (HB 25) on Wednesday for consideration during the 2022 legislative session, which will start Jan. 11.

The bill would create a program within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that would provide reimbursements for veterinary bills for retired dogs.

Related: From police dog to house pet: Retirement a 'ruff' transition

The department would contract with a nonprofit organization to administer the program. The bill calls for providing $300,000 a year for the program.

Related: Law enforcement canines remembered for 'tireless service'