First responders in Massachusetts will be allowed to treat and transport injured police dogs to veterinary hospitals under legislation signed in to law Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Nero’s bill was named for the K9 partner of slain Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon.
Gannon was fatally shot in 2018 while serving an arrest warrant. Nero was also shot, but because of state law, EMTs weren’t allowed to treat or transport him.
Nero had to be rushed to the animal hospital in the back of a police cruiser and survived the shooting.
The new law will permit emergency personnel to treat injured police dogs and bring them to veterinary facilities, as long as there are no injured people still requiring a hospital transport.
“This law will help ensure the wellbeing of working dogs who risk their lives every day to keep us safe,” Sen. Mark Montigny, lead sponsor of the bill, said in a statement Tuesday.
“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," he added.
Supporters had argued that police dogs face danger from guns, narcotics, and even explosives and that letting emergency personnel provide basic treatment and transport is one way to honor that service.