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Update of K-9 Law Clears State Senate

State Senate passed bill exempting police dogs from confinement if they bite a suspect in the course of official duty. Assembly bill introduction expected soon.

 

The State Senate approved a bill on Monday exempting police dogs from confinement if they bite a suspect in the course of their official duty. More than a year ago Senator David Carlucci introduced the bill with the goal of strengthening local law enforcement.

Under current New York State law, animals that may have exposed a person to rabies must be confined for a 10-day confinement and observation period.  However, law enforcement agencies throughout the state pointed out it created a double standard for police dogs who are trained to catch fleeing suspects and are confined and quarantined each time they apprehend a suspect. The proposed change to the law would exempt the K-9 officers that visit veterinarians yearly.

"This is an important first step in making sure that our brave K-9 officers are not handcuffed on the front lines when protecting our communities and keeping us safe," said Carlucci.  "By removing an unnecessary mandate, we will ensure that our police departments can effectively and more efficiently combat crime and do their jobs.”

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski plans to sponsor the bill in the Assembly during this session.

“By removing this burdensome mandate, we can ensure that our highly trained K-9 units are able to continue to protect our communities," he noted.

Last year, the Clarkstown Police Department approached Carlucci’s about getting the law updated. Police officials said the department’s K-9 officers more often track lost children, wandering Alzheimer’s patients and search for drugs or bombs than search for criminal suspects.

The term confinement and observation refers to the conditions under which apparently healthy dogs, cats, domesticated ferrets, and domestic livestock could be subjected to home confinement if they bite an individual and are not exhibiting rabies symptoms. If the county health authority does not approve home confinement, however, the 10-day confinement and observation period must take place at another facility, such as an animal shelter, veterinarian’s office, kennel or farm. Upon the conclusion of the confinement and observation period, the county health authority must verify that the animal is healthy before allowing it to be released.

Joan K February 05, 2013 at 02:48 PM
How about you pass a bill that K9 dogs do not go to boarding kennels. There is still no answer months later on why K9 Cerbie of Ramapo was found dead inside of Musbro Kennels in Orangburg.
K. February 05, 2013 at 08:23 PM
What about a bill that covers the k9 medical bills after they retire. These k9 dogs work so hard only to be abandoned after they retire.
stephany February 05, 2013 at 10:37 PM
maybe food and a pension too so the handler,who will be a cop, will never have to pay for anything. c'mon man it's a dog that has no clue as to why you are forcing him to risk his life. nor does he know he is in danger what is your definition of abandon
Maria February 06, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Abandon = when the handler does not provide for the k9 after he retires.
stephany February 06, 2013 at 10:51 PM
what is stopping him or her from providing anything. and as long as the handler AND the dog are both retired [if there is no family around] i see no reason the handler should not be able to buy the dog for $1 and assume all responsibility. my first reply was regarding medical bills which the town should not foot unless they own the dog. if the handler wants the dog but only for "free everything" the dog should be put up for adoption to a loving family not so concerned with the cost. If as i suspect the handler takes the dog home with him,the handler and his family have had the pleasure of the dog for many years all at $0 cost to them. it should now be time to show the dog some love and adopt him and the costs that go along with any pet. it should never be the taxpayers responsibility to pay for any one's pet let alone when the owner is a cop making an astronomical salary.

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