Bill to provide better care for police dogs gains support on Beacon Hill

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – After Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon was killed in the line of duty last year, his K-9 partner, Nero, did not receive immediate medical attention after being shot and now a proposal on Beacon Hill aims to change that.

On April 12, 2018, Sgt. Gannon and Nero were shot while serving an arrest warrant. Nero waited hours for treatment while his handler was given medical attention.

An outdated law in the Massachusetts constitution prevented Nero from being taken by ambulance to a veterinary clinic to receive care, and now Sgt. Gannon’s parents are leading the efforts to change that.

“It was devastating, it was horrible enough to know what happened to Sean, but to know that Sean would have known that his K-9 was suffering for three hours because of an outdated law, that’s just wrong, it’s wrong and we can fix it,” Sgt. Gannon’s mother, Denise, said.

The Gannon family came to the State House on Thursday, to show their support to the Senate Bill 14-31, known as Nero’s Bill, which would allow first responders to treat police dogs for injuries sustained on the job, something they said that Sean would have wanted.

“Sean would want to be here today if he could to support this legislation for his beloved K-9 that was injured,” Sgt. Gannon’s father, Patrick, said.

Nero’s Bill would allow EMT’s to treat injured police dogs, as long as there are no injured people that need to be brought to the hospital.

Four other states have already passed similar versions of the bill, and many people are hoping to see Massachusetts become number five.

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