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Bulldog's bulldog honored with service animal law

Raleigh, the English bulldog who sat loyally at the feet of Tom Apodaca as he rose from backbench obscurity to the second highest ranking post in the North Carolina Senate, is now memorialized in the state’s lawbooks.


The Raleigh Apodaca Service Dog Retirement Act, which allows cities and counties to turn police dogs and other publicly owned service animals over to their handlers, won approval in the General Assembly on Thursday. It is named for Sen. Apodaca’s longtime companion, who died in September.
Before the enactment of the bill, state law required local governments to auction retired service animals off as surplus property. The new law allows cities and counties to sell the animals for a small fee to their handlers.

The law applies to any "horse, dog, or other animal owned by the State or a unit of local government that performs law enforcement, public safety, or emergency service functions.”
"He was the smartest of our three children," Apodaca, who was a political unknown when he was elected to the state Senate in 2002, joked to a reporter for WRAL television.
Raleigh starred in the senator's campaign fliers, featured beside the former bail bondsman over a caption urging voters to “send two bulldogs to Raleigh.”