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8/31/2022 Rep. Bennett honored by Defenders of Animals
Defenders of Animals has honored Rep. David A. Bennett with its Humane Hero award in recognition of his successful legislative efforts, dedication and steadfast commitment to the concerns of the plight of animals throughout Rhode Island.

The General Assembly this year enacted legislation sponsored by Representative Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston)  to allow police dogs injured in the line of duty to get emergency first aid from EMTs and be transported by ambulance to veterinary hospitals.

The legislation (2022-H 7021A), which was signed into law, is based on a Massachusetts law enacted earilier this year in response to the shooting of a police dog in Barnstable, Mass., in 2018. The dog, Nero, survived although his human partner did not.

"Nero's Law," as the new law is known, is one of more than a dozen animal protection bills that Representative Bennett has sponsored or cosponsored. He is chairman of the House Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, a member of the House Health and Human Services Committee and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

The award was presented Aug. 20 at the Defenders of Animals 28th annual Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil/Award Ceremony and Raffle at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston. This event was held in conjunction with the International Society for Animal Rights campaign and serves as an opportunity for animal advocates from around Rhode Island to band together on a special day and jumpstart new spay/neuter/adoption campaigns while rekindling existing programs in their communities that raise awareness about pet overpopulation.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) also attended and presented Defenders of Animals with a $4,000 legislative grant to be used for low-cost spaying/neutering of cats and dogs and to assist with medical expenses with medical treatment of dogs and cats.

At the event, the organization also recognized RI State Police K-9 Ruby, a search-and-rescue dog for Rhode Island State Police that recently was the topic of a Netflix movie. Unfortunately, Ruby passed away in May due to cancer. K-9 Ruby and her handler, Rhode Island State Police Cpl. Daniel O’Neil, were side by side helping to save lives for 11 years. Defenders of Animals recognized the hard work and dedication of the K-9s and handlers at the RI State Police Canine Unit. Trooper Joseph Pronk and K-9 Jax accepted the award.

IN PHOTO: Rep. Bennett poses with his Humane Hero award, as his own dog, Wolf, looks on. 

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923