Xiarhos Gives Update on Use of Nero’s Law

HYANNIS – A local lawmaker offered an update on the implementation of Nero’s Law almost a year after the legislation went into effect. 

Fifth Barnstable State Representative Steven Xiarhos said Nero’s Law has allowed EMTs to transport and treat police dogs when they are wounded in the line of duty.

“When they’re injured in the line of duty, they should be treated and they should be put in an ambulance and they should be transported and given every chance to live,” he said.

Xiarhos said there were two instances that required medical transport of police dogs in 2022, one of which was when K9 Frankie with the Massachusetts State Police was shot and killed in the line of duty in Fitchburg

Xiarhos recalled receiving a text from a State Trooper thanking him for his efforts to pass Nero’s Law because even though Frankie died, the law provided the dog emergency services and a death with dignity. 

Xiarhos said the law was also utilized last month when Massachusetts State Trooper Kenneth Hanchett and K9 Orry were rear-ended in their stationary vehicle on Route 495 in Hopkinton. 

The law allowed the dog to be transported to Tufts Veterinary Hospital in North Grafton. Both Hanchett and Orry survived the crash and were released from their respective care facilities. 

Xiarhos said Nero’s Law also passed in Rhode Island this year. 

The bill was introduced in Massachusetts after Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon died in the line of duty in 2018 and his K9 partner Nero was also wounded. 

The dog was unable to receive medical assistance from rescuers at the scene and instead had to wait for veterinary care. 

“I was there when we tried to help K9 Nero and the law prevented it. And now we know that the law allows it. And all these EMTs and paramedics that are being trained, it’s fantastic,” Xiarhos said.

He added that he attended training sessions where veterinarians teach EMTs and paramedics how to treat and transport injured police dogs. 

Xiarhos said he thought Gannon would be proud of the bill. 

Listen to the full Sunday Journal interview with Xiarhos.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter 

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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