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Video: 'K-9 Chase Bill' on a mission to better protect K-9s injured in line of duty

Apr 01, 2021 06:13AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Alejandra Palacios of WDIO-TV - March 31, 2021 

A bill in the Minnesota House is intended to give more protection to K-9s injured on the job.

Hibbing Police officer Joey Burns and State Rep. Shane Mekeland who represents District 15B helped craft the K-9 Chase Bill which would get K-9s injured in line of duty the immediate aid and emergency care they need in those crucial moments.

"If one of these canine officers gets injured in the line of duty it's actually a gross misdemeanor for an EMT or a paramedic to even touch that dog. I found that to be a really odd thing," said Mekeland.

The K-9 Chase Bill is making an effort to change this by authorizing emergency medical personnel to provide emergency medical care to police dogs injured in line of duty without a veterinary medicine license.

"If we're able to have our full time fire department come on scene and render the necessary first aid or me or my partners or any first aid, or a first responder or EMT, the chances of him surviving increase that much better," said Burns.

This can be lifesaving when immediate access to a vet clinic isn't possible. Burns said they only have two vet clinics in Hibbing but after business hours, their nearest emergency 24/7 vet clinic is in Duluth.

"If he needs emergency medical treatment and we're an hour away and nobody can render him first aid we're in dire trouble of getting him there and his chances of making it are slim," said Burns.

"The K-9's are also on the frontline and a dog even when injured, they don't stop. They don't stop until they can't move anymore and I think this is common sense and it's a very bipartisan thing," said Mekeland.

This, of course, hits close to home with the loss of K-9's Haas and K-9 Luna in the community. The Duluth Police Department said they also support the bill, and hope to see it advance, saying the quicker medical and life-saving services can be provided in the moment, a better chance of K-9’s to survive.

"It has been actually gaining traction not only through the house and the senate but also other veterinarians, EMTs, first responders and fire departments," said Burns.

K-9 Chase also weighed in on the bill, saying he is a big advocate of it with several barks.

The bill has advanced out of committees in both the Minnesota house and senate. Mekeland said he's hopeful it will be passed as part of a larger bill later this spring.

To learn more about the bill, click here.

To see the original story and read related articles, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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