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 today, which creates the Police Dog Retirement Act.

“As a dog owner myself, I know there is a special bond between an officer and their dog,” Cullerton said. “It’s important that we take the necessary precautions to honor the special relationship between an officer and their police dog.”

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.

“We need to do what we can to honor the service of Illinois police officers and their trusty canine,” Cullerton said.

Representative John Anthony (R-Morris) carried this measure in the House.

Senate Bill 3129 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now heads to the governor’s desk.  

PHOTO: State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), Illinois State Capitol Police investigator Steven Speeks and his police dog, Quinn, pose for a quick picture. The Police Dog Retirement Act would require retiring police dogs to be offered to their primary handlers before pursuing other means of adoption.

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