Governor Ron DeSantis Approves Bill To Fund Veterinary Care for Retired Police Dogs in Florida

Toby Hazlewood

Police dogs deserve a happy retirement too!

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Governor Ron DeSantis on June 10Twitter of GovRonDeSantis

On June 10, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis signed the latest bill that will benefit law enforcers in the state - and this time it is police dogs that will benefit. Senate Bill SB226 - the Care for Retired Police Dogs bill - will ensure that retired police dogs enjoy a good standard of care, including through the provision of funding for veterinary care.

$300,000 will be allocated to the program each year

Commenting on the new bill, the governor had this to say:

“In Florida we back the blue, and that includes the K-9s that are often the first to go into a dangerous situation. After dedicating their lives to protecting and serving our communities, it is important that we ensure that these K-9s are cared for by providing the resources necessary for handlers or adopters to afford their veterinary care.”

The Care for Retired Police Dogs Program will reimburse handlers or those who adopt retired K-9s with up to $1,500 of the annual veterinary costs associated with caring the dog. This includes annual wellness checks, vaccinations, parasite prevention treatments, medications, and emergency care for the animals.

Around $300,000 has been allocated to the program, annually.

Florida backs the blue - including police dogs!

The signing of this new bill demonstrates one more way in which Florida values its police officers and makes this appreciation known through action, not just words.

Governor Ron DeSantis recently approved a state budget of $109.9 billion which includes within it a provision to pay $1.000 bonuses to all first responders for the second year in a row - including police.

The so-called 'Freedom First' budget has also set aside funds that will be used to bump starting salaries for police officers up to $50,000 per year, and a $5,000 bonus will be offered to entice officers from outside Florida to move to the sunshine state.

Police K-9s also play a really significant role in upholding law and order in the sunshine state. For example, in April, a police dog was instrumental in detecting and seizing $700k of heroin during a routine traffic stop and search.

This is just one example of the critical role that police dogs fulfil. It seems appropriate then that Governor DeSantis has signed this bill to ensure that retired police K-9s are well cared for after they finish their active service.

Have you ever seen a police K-9 in action? Would you adopt a retired police dog if given the opportunity? Let me know in the comments section below.

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