Today, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously approved An Act allowing humane transportation of K9 partners, also known as Nero’s Law, ensuring law enforcement officers’ K-9 partners receive life-saving medical attention and transport if injured in the line of duty. The bill, first proposed by Senator Mark Montigny, comes in response to the tragic events that took the life of New Bedford-native and Yarmouth Police K-9 Sergeant Sean Gannon and severely injured his K-9 partner, Nero.
In April 2018, Sergeant Gannon was shot and killed while serving a warrant in the Town of Barnstable. Despite the multiple empty ambulances on site, Nero had to be rushed to the animal hospital in the back of a police cruiser. Current Massachusetts law prohibits emergency medical personnel from treating and transporting animals. Fortunately, Nero survived his injuries, but the inability to transport him showed that reform was needed to honor working dogs who risk their lives every day to serve the Commonwealth.
“Our K-9 Officers deserve the opportunity to get life-saving treatment in any situation and this legislation seeks to guarantee that common decency,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support of this bill and to the Gannon family for their continued advocacy to get this done. I’m looking forward to seeing Nero’s Law become the law of the Commonwealth in the months ahead.”
Nero’s Law authorizes emergency medical service personnel to provide emergency treatment and transport of K-9 partners. This includes basic first aid, CPR, and administering life-saving interventions such as naloxone.
Nero’s Law now advances to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for consideration.