National Police Association asks Maine legislature to fund healthcare expenses for retired state police K9s


Providing reimbursement for healthcare expenses can help relieve financial burden handlers or adoptive families experience

The National Police Association (NPA), a 501(c)3 non-profit educational/advocacy organization, has submitted written testimony to Maine's Joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety in support of LD 1234. This would mandate the Department of Public Safety to pay for the medical expenses of retired dogs that served with the State Police. The department would reimburse the authorized handler of the retired law enforcement dog for medical expenses of up to $5,000 per calendar year upon submission of receipts for those expenses.1

Lisa F. Young /

Lisa F. Young /

An association release2 stressed that police dogs are exposed to many dangerous items, (eg toxic chemicals, hazardous materials, and weapons), that can cause physical harm or even death. They also may be put in situations where they suffer from physical injuries from suspects, other animals, or during training exercises.

Offering reimbursement for healthcare expenses can help to relieve the financial stress faced by handlers or adoptive families while helping to ensure these dogs receive the necessary care. Additionally, with the rising costs of veterinary expenses, brings the potential of rehoming retired police dogs which causes added stress for K-9s and K-9 handlers.

In the release, the NPA stated,2 “Retired police dogs have served our communities with distinction and should be cared for in their retirement years. State governments should provide reimbursement for health care expenses of retired state police law enforcement dogs. These programs not only show appreciation for the service of these dogs, but they also help to ensure that they receive the care they need in their retirement years.”


  1. Testimony encouraging the passage of LD 1234. National Police Association. Accessed April 20, 2023.
  2. The National Police Association asks Maine legislature to fund medical care for retired state police K9s. News release. National Police Association. April 20, 2023. Accessed April 20, 2023.
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