This petition is to request that Congressman Sanford Bishop and other political figures help assist in getting a law passed in the state of Georgia to protect the quality of life care and treatment of K9 Police Officers both during their service and after their retirement. The petition is as follows:
PROPOSAL: The Police K-9 Bill of Rights
SUMMARY: To create a bill relating to quality of life care and treatment of K-9 Police Officers both during their service and after their retirement.
1) Provide medical benefits for retired police K-9s to include veterinary care, food and other items for their well-being for the remainder of the dog’s life. This requirement is effective upon the transfer of ownership of the dog from the law enforcement agency to the former handler or adopter of the dog.
2) Reclassify Police K-9s as canine law enforcement officers, not as equipment.
3) Provide cremation services for dogs that have retired from the agency’s service.
4) Police K-9s will receive the benefits of safety equipment while on the job such as bullet proof vests, paw protectors, and other equipment to help them in their daily job functions.
5) Provide Finial Rest services to include cremation and recognition of service.
By amending the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and re-directing 2% of the cash seized by a police K-9 into a third party general fund to pay for medical benefits for retired police K-9s. This third party fund can be administered by multiple non-profits already concerned with the welfare of police K-9s.
Police K-9 – Any dog that is owned by or employed by a law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, and apprehension of offenders; or the detection of missing persons, including but not limited to persons who are lost, trapped under debris as the result of a natural, manmade or technological disaster; or are drowning victims.
Retired Police K-9 – A canine law enforcement officer, who can no longer work due to age or a medical condition, who has officially had its ownership transferred from the law enforcement agency to its handler removing him from active duty.
Law Enforcement Agency – A federal, state or local agency or political subdivision having primary responsibility for the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, traffic, game, regulatory, or highway laws of any state and local agency if its agents and officers are empowered by law to conduct criminal investigations and make arrests.
Veterinary Care – Services provided by a licensed veterinarian or a specialist referred by a licensed veterinarian to include, but not limited to, annual wellness exams, vaccines, internal and external parasite prevention, testing and treatment for illness and disease, medication, emergency care surgeries, and euthanasia.
REASONS FOR THE POLICE K-9 BILL OF RIGHTS:
1) To reduce animal suffering while waiting for administrations to make financial decisions by re-classifying them as living beings instead of generic equipment like a desk or chair. Health decisions need to be made within 12-24 hours if an animal is in pain and the decision needs to made as to whether the animal will be taken care of by its department or if it is to be retired and taken care of by its handler making it eligible for benefits under this bill.
2) To reduce the financial burden placed on one individual for the care and treatment of a faithful public servant that has protected all of us in ways that we probably don’t even realize.
3) Throughout this country the K-9s are largely responsible for finding the illegal cash, drugs and contraband yet they can’t benefit from it because they are currently equipment.
4) To eliminate unfair financial burdens thrust on handlers because of their devotion to their 24/7 partner. Since all costs of a retired police K-9 currently transfer to the handler or adopter of the dog at the time of retirement, there are signs of departmental abuse where a K-9 will be retired without warning so they don’t have to pay the veterinarian bill.
~ Info provided via National K9 Working Dog~