ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A new Florida law will go into effect that will allow first responders to transport and treat police K9s injured in the line of duty, offering faster medical care than before for the four-legged partners.
On Friday morning, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Before, state law prohibited emergency workers from rendering aid to police K-9's if they are injured in the line of duty.
"We all have a soft spot in our hearts for our four-legged friends," DeSantis said prior to signing the bill. "They’re really incredible, incredible friends. The police use K9s very effectively. These K9s use their unique capabilities to save lives and protect our communities in Florida. Sometimes, they are the first to put their lives on the line."
Under the bill, SB 388, EMTs would be allowed to give care to K9s at the scene and transport them for emergency care the same way they would for an injured human officer.
Last year, a bill was signed to increase penalties for those who injure or kill K9 officers in Florida.