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Senate approves Nero’s Law

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  On November 10, Senator Sal DiDomenico joined his Massachusetts Senate colleagues in passing S.2573, An Act allowing humane transportation of K9 partners – also known as Nero’s Law. This legislation ensures that law enforcement officers’ K-9 partners receive life-saving medical attention and transport if injured in the line of duty. First proposed by Senator Mark Montigny, this bill comes in response to the tragic events that took the life of New Bedford native Yarmouth Police K-9 Sergeant Sean Gannon and severely injured his K-9 partner, Nero.

  In April 2018, Gannon was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Barnstable. Despite the multiple empty ambulances on site, Nero had to be rushed to the animal hospital in the back of a police cruiser. Current Massachusetts law prohibits emergency medical personnel from treating and transporting animals. Fortunately, Nero survived his injuries, but the inability to transport him showed that reform is needed to honor working dogs who risk their lives every day to serve the Commonwealth. Nero’s situation was not an isolated incident – other police K-9s throughout the Commonwealth have been injured or killed while on duty.

  A dog owner himself, DiDomenico proudly cosponsored Nero’s Law. “Like our law enforcement officers, police dogs are constantly in harm’s way. Police K-9s are valuable members of our police forces, so it is essential that they be treated as such and protected,” said DiDomenico. “I was proud to support this bill and I am pleased the Senate has taken action on this legislation this session.”

  Nero’s Law authorizes emergency medical service personnel to provide emergency treatment and transport of K-9 partners. This includes basic first aid, CPR and administering life-saving interventions, such as naloxone.

  On November 15 the Massachusetts House of Representatives referred Nero’s Law to its Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.

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