• Sara Doan

"Gabos Law" passes in the Arkansas House of Representatives


JONESBORO, Ark- When a police officer is injured, medical personnel rush to give first aid before they arrive at the hospital.

But when a K-9 officer is injured, they do not receive the same life-saving treatment.


But that could soon be changing.


A possible life-saving bill just passed this week in the Arkansas House of Representatives.


House Bill 1125, also known as “Gabos Law” allows emergency medical attention to K-9 officers injured on duty.


“Well, we were excited to hear the piece of legislation was even going to be brought up. Now that it has made it through the house by a unanimous vote, we're excited to see it move over to the Senate,” says Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott.


The bill sponsored by Arkansas State Representative Jimmy Gazaway (R- Paragould) passed in the Arkansas House of Representatives with a 97-0 vote.


HB 1125 was approved by the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee just a day before voting.


The bill honors Gabo, a Jonesboro Police Department K-9 officer who was shot five times at point-blank range on duty in 2018.


Gabo survived but died in 2020 from an illness related to the shooting.


The bill, if passed, can also K-9 unit, police departments in the state.

“It’s one step in protecting our assets. We have a lot of time and money invested in these dogs. It’s just another way to protect our investment,” says Chief Elliott.


JPD currently has six K-9 officers.


Purchasing each dog can range from $8,000 to $11,000 not, including training, protective gear, and more.


The proposed bill will allow injured K-9 officers to be transported via ambulance to a veterinarian hospital.

While also receiving any life-saving medical attention from EMTs and paramedics the animal may need.


Something that currently is not allowed in Arkansas, but Chief Elliott hopes will change.


“The only thing we could do was throw him in the back of his vehicle and get to the veterinarian's office as quick as we could. So, we didn’t have a chance to do any kind of stop the bleeding or anything for him at that time. And you know, that- it could of made a difference of life and death for the dog,” he says.


Only a handful of states including, Illinois and, Mississippi have laws that allow medical attention for K-9 officers.


But more states are following.


In addition to Arkansas, Rhode Island has a similar bill currently in their state legislature.

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