Governor signs Florida bill allowing EMT's to treat injured K-9's

A bill allowing emergency responders to treat and transport injured Florida K-9's was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The governor held a news conference in St. Augustine. 

"In some cases, they are the first to put their lives on the line," DeSantis said of K-9's on Friday.

The previous law prohibited emergency workers from rendering aid to police K-9's if they are injured in the line of duty.

According to SB 388, EMTs are now allowed to give care to K-9's at the scene and transport them for emergency care the same way they would for an injured human officer. 

The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Tom Wright. 

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"In recent years we have had multiple K-9s assassinated in our state just because they were wearing a badge," Wright said in a March committee meeting. "This bill is intended to take a proactive approach to save the lives of these officers."

A 19-year-old pleaded guilty in December to killing a Florida police dog named Fang as the dog pursued him during a chase.

Officer Matt Herrera described a 120-mph chase down Interstate 10 and how he released Fang to stop the suspect. Herrera said he heard his 3-year-old dog yelp after the first shot, before seeing Fang lifeless with head and chest wounds.

RELATED: 19-year-old man sentenced to 25 years on charges including shooting, killing Florida K-9

"He’s still a member of my family and it wasn’t just sad for me, but for the department," the officer said.

The law takes effect July 1.

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