Text: H.R.5081 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/14/2019)

1st Session
H. R. 5081

To require the Attorney General to establish a grant program to assist with the medical expenses of qualified working dogs, and for other purposes.


November 14, 2019

Mr. Wright (for himself, Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Pence, Mr. Riggleman, Mr. Weber of Texas, Mr. Carter of Texas, and Mr. Bilirakis) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To require the Attorney General to establish a grant program to assist with the medical expenses of qualified working dogs, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “K–9 Hero Act of 2019”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) On October 27, 2019, United States special operations forces carried out a raid, which resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

(2) A military working dog, whose identity is classified, played an integral role in the success of the raid and kept United States military personnel out of harm’s way.

(3) Although injured during the raid, the military working dog is recovering and continues to serve heroically alongside his handler in theater.

(4) Working dogs, such as the one involved in the Al-Baghdadi raid, play a critical role in assisting our Armed Forces and Federal and local law enforcement in protecting Americans and defending freedom at home and abroad.

(5) Within the Federal Government, working dogs assist the U.S. Capitol Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Defense, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, amongst other Federal departments and agencies.

(6) Almost all working dogs work in tandem with our Armed Forces and law enforcement officers until they are no longer medically able, at which point they are medically separated.

(7) The future of retired working dogs with respect to ownership and provision of medical services is often unclear and the medical treatment required by many former working dogs is significant enough that it creates a hardship for the individuals, often former partners, who take in these canine heroes.

SEC. 3. Grant program to fund covered medical expenses for qualified working dogs.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 1 fiscal year after the date of enactment of this Act, and each fiscal year thereafter for 4 fiscal years, the Attorney General shall carry out a program under which the Attorney General may award grants, each in amounts not to exceed $575,000, to eligible nonprofit organizations to assist with the covered medical expenses of qualified working dogs.

(b) Eligibility.—A nonprofit organization is eligible to receive a grant under this section if the organization primarily exists to care for qualified working dogs and provide medically related financial assistance to owners of qualified working dogs.

(c) Application.—To receive a grant under this section, a nonprofit organization shall submit to the Attorney General an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Attorney General may require, including information that demonstrates that the nonprofit organization meets the eligibility requirements under subsection (b).

(d) Use of funds.—A recipient of a grant under this section shall use such grant to pay for covered medical expenses of qualified working dogs.

(e) Grant amount reduction.—A grant amount awarded to an eligible nonprofit organization for a fiscal year pursuant to this section shall be reduced by an amount equal to the total amount of unexpended grant funds awarded under this section in previous fiscal years.

(f) Report.—The Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report that details—

(1) the number of qualified working dogs assisted pursuant to a grant awarded under this section; and

(2) the average medical expenses for each qualified working dog assisted pursuant to a grant awarded under this section.

(g) Definitions.—In this Act—

(1) the term “covered medical expenses” means any expenses related to medical treatment and care of qualified working dogs, including veterinarian office visits, medical procedures, diagnostic tests, and medications or medically necessary supplements; and

(2) the term “qualified working dog” means a retired dog that worked for the Federal Government, including the Armed Forces, to carry out military or law enforcement activity.

(h) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

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