Legislation sponsored by state Senator Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach) creating the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program was signed into law by the governor today, ensuring that canines that have assisted in protecting public safety throughout Florida will be medically cared for as they are retired from service.
“The years of intense training and demanding requirements can take a heavy toll on law enforcement K-9s,” said Senator Powell. “This legislation is a small repayment for the years of service these dogs have given. It ensures that a modest amount of funding is available to help pay for veterinary care as the canines retire and physical ailments due to aging or previous on-the-job injuries begin to appear.”
SB226, which will take effect July 1, 2022, will provide reimbursement for up to $1,500 of annual veterinary costs associated with caring for a retired law enforcement or corrections dog by the former handler or qualified adopter who incurs the costs. The program will be administered and managed by a not-for-profit corporation in a contractual arrangement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) after a competitive grant award process.
The legislation unanimously passed both the Senate and the House during the 2022 legislative session.