A bill put forward by Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven, would require the state of Florida to provide funds for the care of retired K-9s.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the bill is important. Two dogs from the Sheriff's Office were recently shot and wounded by an armed carjacking suspect.

“These canines, they live with this, this is what they are born and bred for, this is what they are trained to do,” Chitwood said. “Their service life is maybe six or seven years and they retire with back injuries, hip injuries, getting shot.” 

The proposed law would help ensure the animals live a good life in retirement, Chitwood said.

"I think that it's a small token of appreciation to make sure that the deputies, when that dog is retired to them, they have the medical coverage, the food, whatever needs to be done to make sure that the K-9 is rewarded and it has the quality of life it deserves," Chitwood said. 

The proposed law would also help K-9 officers from small departments that do not provide a budget for retired dogs, said DeLand police Sgt. Richard Cody.

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