The National Police Association Asks Maine Legislature to Fund Medical Care for Retired State Police K9s

The National Police Association Asks Maine Legislature to Fund Medical Care for Retired State Police K9s

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INDIANAPOLIS, April 20, 2023  — The National Police Association (NPA) has submitted written testimony to Maine’s Joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety in support of LD 1234, which would require the Department of Public Safety to pay for the healthcare expenses of a retired dog previously used in the service of the State Police. The department would reimburse the authorized handler of the retired law enforcement dog for medical expenses of up to $5,000 per calendar year upon submission of receipts for such expenses.

Police dogs face many risks during their work. They are often exposed to dangerous situations that can cause physical harm or even death. For example, police dogs may be exposed to toxic chemicals, hazardous materials, and weapons. They may also be subjected to physical attacks from suspects or other animals. Additionally, police dogs may be injured while apprehending suspects or during training exercises.

Providing reimbursement for healthcare expenses can help to alleviate the financial burden that handlers or adoptive families may face. These individuals may not have the financial resources to provide the necessary medical care for their retired police dog, and providing reimbursement can help to ensure that these dogs receive the care they need.

The cost of veterinary expenses is rising. The fear of having to rehome retired Police dogs due to veterinary costs is stressful in an already stressful job. Unfortunately, rehoming has happened creating additional stress for both K-9s and K-9 handlers.

Retired police dogs have served our communities with distinction and should be cared for in their retirement years. State governments should provide reimbursement for health care expenses of retired state police law enforcement dogs. These programs not only show appreciation for the service of these dogs, but they also help to ensure that they receive the care they need in their retirement years.

Read the full NPA testimony here

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