BISMARCK – Money for retired police dogs was voted down by the North Dakota State Senate Wednesday.
House Bill 1388 would provide funding to handlers that care for law enforcement canines after service of $1,000 a year for medical expenses for the rest of the life of the police dog. The bill received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate Judiciary by a vote of four to three.
“Law enforcement dogs are a vital part of law enforcement teams,” said the carrier of the bill, Sen. Ryan Braunberger, D-Dis. 10, Fargo. “They provide safety in volatile situations because they can help de-escalate them. To give a little more history, canines have been a part of North Dakota Highway Patrol since 1992. They have had 35 dogs in service and currently have nine dogs.”
Braunberger said an average canine would live about three years in retirement, costing the state $9,000 for the next three years.
“These canines save lives and sometimes even recover funds that law enforcement officers would not otherwise know about,” said Braunberger. “I think this is a modest amount of money that we can provide to reward the canines that have helped keep North Dakota safe.”
The bill failed by a vote of 27 to 20.