By Bob Katzen
Governor Charlie Baker signed into law legislation that would require EMS personnel, if there are no people waiting for the service, to provide emergency treatment to a police dog and use an ambulance to transport the dog injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic or veterinary hospital.
Senate sponsor Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) first filed the bill in 2019 following the tragic death of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon who was shot and killed in the line of duty while his K-9 partner Nero was severely injured and had to be rushed to the animal hospital in the back of a police cruiser. Nero survived.
“This law will ensure the wellbeing of working dogs who risk their lives every day to keep us safe,” said Montigny. “I hope this provides some comfort to the Gannon family who fought tirelessly for this moment that will forever honor Sean and his fearless partner Nero.”
“We must remember that this bill was first inspired out of tragedy,” said House sponsor Rep. Steve Xiarhos (R-Barnstable). “And we all hold the memory of my fallen brother, police officer Sean Gannon, and his beloved family close in our hearts and prayers.”