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Tom Cullerton passes measure to keep retired police dogs with officers

TCpolicedogSPRINGFIELD – Working to keep retired police dogs with their handlers, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D–Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 3129, which creates the Police Dog Retirement Act.

“As a dog owner myself, I recognize there is a special connection formed between an officer and their dog,” Cullerton said. “This is common sense legislation. There is a special bond between an officer and police dogs. It’s important that we honor this relationship.”

Senate Bill 3129 requires a retiring police dog to be offered to the primary handler of the dog. If the officer doesn’t wish to keep the dog it can be offered to another officer or employee, a nonprofit organization or a no-kill animal shelter.

“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the special bond formed between an officer and their police dog,” said Michele Kasten of the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners.

Cullerton believes this is not only a way to honor the service of Illinois police officers but also a cost-effective way to give police canines a safe and responsible home.

Senate Bill 3129 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

PHOTO: State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), Illinois State Capitol Police investigator Steven Speeks and his police dog, Quinn

Sen. Tom Cullerton

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23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; State Government; Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson); Sub. on Utility Rate Regulations (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.

Associated Representatives:
Deb Conroy
Diane Pappas