Veterinary treatment for retired law enforcement and fire and rescue dogs
(a)(1) This section applies only to publicly owned dogs that are:
(i) licensed under § 2-313 of this article; or
(ii) used by a State or local fire and rescue entity in fire and rescue work.
(2) A State or local law enforcement agency or State or local fire and rescue entity that removes from duty a dog used in law enforcement or fire and rescue work shall reimburse an individual who, under a written agreement with the law enforcement agency or State or local fire and rescue entity, takes possession of a law enforcement dog on or after October 1, 2020, or a fire and rescue dog on or after October 1, 2022, for reasonable and necessary veterinary treatment provided to the dog.
(3) Reimbursement under paragraph (2) of this subsection:
(i) may be only for usual and customary veterinary treatment that is not attributable to abuse or neglect of the dog and is verified by written receipt; and
(ii) may not exceed $2,500 during a calendar year and $10,000 over the life of the dog.
(4)(i) 1. A State law enforcement agency or fire and rescue entity may accept public donations to meet the requirements of this section.
2. The revenue from donations by the public shall be distributed to the K-9 Compassionate Care Fund, which is not subject to appropriation by the Governor, to be used only to meet the requirements of this section.
(ii) A local law enforcement agency or fire and rescue entity may establish a separate fund to accept and manage public donations in order to meet the requirements of this section.
K-9 Compassionate Care Fund
(b)(1) In this section, “Fund” means the K-9 Compassionate Care Fund.
(2) There is a K-9 Compassionate Care Fund.
(3) The purpose of the Fund is to provide for veterinary care of retired State law enforcement dogs adopted under subsection (a) of this section.
(4) The Department of State Police shall administer the Fund.
(5)(i) The Fund is a special, nonlapsing fund that is not subject to § 7-302 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.
(ii) The State Treasurer shall hold the Fund separately, and the Comptroller shall account for the Fund.
(6) The Fund consists of:
(i) public donations accepted by a State law enforcement agency under subsection (a)(4) of this section;
(ii) money appropriated in the State budget to the Fund;
(iii) interest earnings; and
(iv) any other money from any other source accepted for the benefit of the Fund.
(7) The Fund may be used only for the reimbursement of usual and customary veterinary treatment that is not attributable to abuse or neglect of an adopted former State law enforcement dog that is verified by written receipts and for administrative expenses.
(8) The State Treasurer shall invest the money of the Fund in the same manner as other State money may be invested.
(9) Any interest earnings of the Fund shall be credited to the Fund.
(10) Expenditures from the Fund may be made only in accordance with the State budget.
(11) Money expended from the Fund for the veterinary care of retired State law enforcement dogs adopted under subsection (a) of this section is supplemental to and is not intended to take the place of funding that would otherwise be appropriated for the veterinary care of retired State law enforcement dogs.
Added by Acts 2021, c. 90, § 1, eff. July 1, 2021. Amended by Acts 2022, c. 185, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2022.