Florida Senate - 2016 CS for SB 440 By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Abruzzo 591-01282-16 2016440c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to care for retired law enforcement 3 dogs; creating s. 943.69, F.S.; providing a short 4 title; defining terms; providing legislative findings; 5 creating the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs 6 Program within the Department of Law Enforcement; 7 requiring the department to contract with a 8 corporation not for profit to administer and manage 9 the program; providing requirements for the 10 corporation not for profit; providing requirements for 11 the disbursement of funds for the veterinary care of 12 eligible retired law enforcement dogs; placing an 13 annual cap on the amount of funds available for the 14 care of an eligible retired law enforcement dog; 15 prohibiting a former handler or adopter from receiving 16 reimbursement if funds are depleted for the year for 17 which such reimbursement is sought; providing for 18 administrative fees; requiring the department to adopt 19 rules; providing an appropriation; providing an 20 effective date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Section 943.69, Florida Statutes, is created to 25 read: 26 943.69 Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program.— 27 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Care for 28 Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act.” 29 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 30 (a) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully established 31 state or local public agency having primary responsibility for 32 the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the 33 penal, traffic, highway, regulatory, game, immigration, postal, 34 customs, or controlled substance laws. 35 (b) “Retired law enforcement dog” means a dog that was 36 previously in the service of or employed by a law enforcement 37 agency in this state for the principal purpose of aiding in the 38 detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or 39 apprehension of offenders and that received certification in 40 obedience and apprehension work from a certifying organization 41 such as the National Police Canine Association or other 42 certifying organization. 43 (c) “Veterinarian” has the same meaning as provided in s. 44 474.202. 45 (d) “Veterinary care” means the practice of veterinary 46 medicine as defined in s. 474.202 by a veterinarian. The term 47 includes annual wellness examinations, vaccines, internal and 48 external parasite prevention treatments, testing and treatment 49 of illnesses and diseases, medications, emergency care and 50 surgeries, specialty care such as veterinary oncology, 51 euthanasia, and cremation. 52 (3) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that: 53 (a) Law enforcement dogs have become an integral part of 54 many law enforcement efforts statewide, including the 55 apprehension of suspects through tracking and searching, 56 evidence location, drug and bomb detection, and search and 57 rescue operations; 58 (b) Law enforcement agencies agree that the use of law 59 enforcement dogs is an extremely cost-effective means of crime 60 control and that these dogs possess skills and abilities that 61 frequently exceed those of existing technology; 62 (c) The service of law enforcement dogs is often dangerous 63 and can expose them to injury at a rate higher than that of 64 nonservice dogs; and 65 (d) Law enforcement dogs provide significant contributions 66 to the residents of this state. 67 (4) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.-The Care for Retired Law 68 Enforcement Dogs Program is created within the department to 69 provide a stable funding source for veterinary care provided to 70 these dogs. 71 (5) ADMINISTRATION.—The department shall contract with a 72 corporation not for profit organized under chapter 617 to 73 administer and manage the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs 74 Program. Notwithstanding chapter 287, the department shall 75 select a corporation not for profit through a competitive grant 76 award process which: 77 (a) Is dedicated to the protection or care of retired law 78 enforcement dogs; 79 (b) Is exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal 80 Revenue Code as an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of 81 that code; 82 (c) Has maintained such tax-exempt status for at least 5 83 years; 84 (d) Agrees to be subject to review and audit at the 85 discretion of the Auditor General in order to ensure accurate 86 accounting and disbursement of state funds; and 87 (e) Demonstrates the ability to effectively and efficiently 88 disseminate information and to assist former handlers and 89 adopters of retired law enforcement dogs in complying with this 90 section. 91 (6) FUNDING.— 92 (a) The corporation not for profit shall be the disbursing 93 authority for funds appropriated by the Legislature to the 94 department for the Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs 95 Program. These funds shall be disbursed to the former handler or 96 adopter of a retired law enforcement dog upon receipt of: 97 1. Valid documentation from the law enforcement agency from 98 which the dog retired which verifies that the dog was in the 99 service of or employed by such agency; and 100 2. A valid invoice from a veterinarian for veterinary care 101 provided in this state to a retired law enforcement dog and 102 documentation establishing payment of the invoice by the former 103 handler or adopter of a retired law enforcement dog. 104 (b) Annual disbursements to a former handler or adopter to 105 reimburse him or her for the cost of veterinary care provided to 106 a retired law enforcement dog may not exceed $1,500 per dog. A 107 former handler or adopter of a retired law enforcement dog may 108 not accumulate unused funds from a current year for use in a 109 future year. 110 (c) A former handler or adopter of a retired law 111 enforcement dog who seeks reimbursement for veterinary care may 112 not receive reimbursement if funds appropriated for the Care for 113 Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program are depleted in the year 114 for which the reimbursement is sought. 115 (7) ADMINISTRATIVE FEES.—The corporation not for profit 116 must receive administrative fees, including salaries and 117 benefits, of up to 10 percent of appropriated funds. 118 (8) RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.-The department shall adopt rules 119 pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section. 120 Section 2. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and each fiscal 121 year thereafter, the sum of $300,000 in recurring funds is 122 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of 123 Law Enforcement for the purpose of implementing the Care for 124 Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program. 125 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.