New law protects retired K-9s

By Frank Johnson
Deputy City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg

The General Assembly this year focused on many bills addressing all elements of police reform. But SB 156 involves veterinary care costs for retired K9s.

The bill, which the Governor signed, mandates that, as of July 1, 2021, state and local police forces cover the “reasonable and necessary” vet costs proven by a receipt, up to $2,500 a year and $10,000 “over the life of the dog.” The bill also creates a state K-9 Compassionate Care Fund, which can include donations to cover such expenses, and allows local governments to create their own funds.

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