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Last week, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released HB 5150, which establishes a state budget for 2021.  777 amendments to the bill have been filed for consideration, including two specifically impacting working dogs.

  1. Amendment #18 to H5150 – “Nero’s Bill” would allow emergency care and transportation for a police dog injured in the line of duty. The bill is named for “Nero”, the K9 partner of fallen Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon who was shot and killed in the line of duty in April 2018. Nero was also shot, but current state law prevented EMTs from treating or transporting him.
  2. Amendment #19 to H5150 – “Service Dogs for Veterans” would provide not less than $85,000 to be expended for the NEADS Service Dogs for Veterans program to train service dogs for veterans.

AKC’s Position:

  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) values the contribution that all working dogs make to national security and the extraordinary role that these dogs play in protecting the peace and security of individuals and communities.
  • AKC honors the breeders, trainers and handlers of these dogs, and supports efforts ensuring that specialized care is provided to protect the wellbeing of these dogs.

Massachusetts residents are encouraged to immediately contact their member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to express support for Amendments # 18 and 19.

Find your state representative’s contact information by searching with your address here.

For more information on these or other legislative issues in Massachusetts, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or; or the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners at