Law enforcement K9s injured in the line of duty in Florida can receive emergency treatment at the scene and can be transported by emergency vehicles, thanks to a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The proposal (SB 388) makes paramedics and emergency medical technicians immune from criminal and civil liabilities when treating an injured police K9.

“I think this is something that’s overdue. I think it will end up potentially saving the lives of some of our K9s, and I know that that’s something that many of us would like to see,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

The bill authorizes emergency service vehicles, such as ambulances, to transport police K9s to a veterinary clinic if there is no individual requiring medical attention or transport at that time. The bill also allows EMTs and paramedics to provide emergency care to police K9s at the scene of an emergency and/or while the K9 is being transported.

In 2019 Florida increased penalties for killing or causing great bodily harm to police, fire or search-and-rescue dogs or police horses. The change boosted the amount of potential prison time from five years to 15 years and was dubbed the K-9 Fang bill, in honor of a fallen Jacksonville police dog.

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