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Minn. House Votes For Stiffer Dog Abuse Penalties

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Major, a police dog who was injured in the line of duty. (credit: CBS)

Major, a police dog who was injured in the line of duty. (credit: CBS)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has voted to toughen a state law to deter people from harming or killing public safety dogs like those police use.

By a 107-22 vote, the House approved legislation Thursday increasing potential restitution costs for people who hurt dogs used in police actions, search and rescue, correctional facilities or arson investigations.

Under the bill, killing or causing great bodily harm to such a dog could prompt a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution costs of up to $25,000. Current penalties allow for prison time but don’t require restitution.

Rep. Tony Cornish cited an attack on a Roseville police dog as a rallying cry for his bill. Some who opposed the bill say it gets tougher on people who hurt animals than some crimes against adults.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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