ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Major the police dog helped usher in stiffer criminal penalties in Minnesota for people who harm or kill public safety animals.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday with Major at his side. The German shepherd is now retired from the Roseville Police Department after a robbery suspect stabbed him four times last November.

Dayton praised public safety dogs for their “courage and heroism” and said assaults against them are an assault on the integrity of society.

Major’s owner, Roseville officer John Jorgensen, says the dog will probably never be able to use his hind legs again. Major gets around with the aid of a small cart attached to his hindquarters.

The bill Dayton signed passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state House and Senate.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (29)
  1. Luke says:

    Good! Police Dogs are paid for by our taxes and in the unlikely event someone should hurt them, they should be held responsible for the bills just like any other restitution for the damage they cause.

    1. Linksman says:

      Amen, brother Luke!

  2. red says:

    Agreed! Good for you Major

    1. redthebraindead says:

      you moron,like the dog knows what the bill implies!

    2. redthebraindead says:

      hey moron,the dog doesn’t know wha the bill is at all

  3. Ed says:

    It’s a absolute waste but it makes the people feel good and it’s going to help get votes for the lawmakers voting for it .
    The dogs a tool for the officer to use thats why they send them into harms way, they are expendable.

    1. Brad says:

      Apparently we have a cat person here.

      Major is such a beautiful dog, I’m glad he lived and can have the rest of his life in retirement with Beggin Strips.

  4. O' Brother says:

    “Witness” the signing, lick it’s self, same thing.

  5. K9 says:

    Ed I would have to disagree with your comment. Those dogs can cost upward of 7,000 initially. It takes a minimum of three to four months just for basic training. Most of the dogs don’t really start to hit their stride for a year or two. You cannot easily replace the experience these dogs gain over time. There is a minimum of 16 hours training every month to keep the dog up to standard. Many officers spend more time than that to train a truly excellent police dog. The time and monetary commitment alone makes these dogs far from expendable.

    Most of these dogs live with their handlers. They integrate with the handler’s family, other police officers and the community. I can tell you that the attitude among K9 handlers is certainly not to needlessly sacrifice the dog. They will however, routinely go into harms way to protect and save life. Just like police and fire in your community and mine. Not even remotely disposable.

    1. Gopher says:

      So in Majors case the officer should have all expenses taken out of his paycheck for abuse of government property.

  6. Jon M says:

    Are they going to interview the dog afterwards? I hope so. If people who propose such things continue to get dumber and dumber, as they obviously are, the dogs eventually will be running the show. “Injured police dog will witness bill signing” That has to be in the top ten most moronic headlines ever.

    1. agreethere says:

      totally agree there,are they gonna snif it’s arse ,too while their at it?good greif

  7. Concerned citizen says:

    I am so pleased they had the dog witness the signing, he can tell his children all about it. Afterward, when they interviewed the dog, he said the food sucked, and there were no females there to occupy his time. This is so important to sign into legislation, the perps will stop and think about hurting the dogs, if they have to pay restitution. I’m sure we won’t hear any more about the dogs being hurt.

  8. Business as usual. says:

    Why read the story if it is just going to make you mad? You should have known what this was about from the headline and if not,,, you are the stupid one. Have to love people that have nothing but time to complain about everything even though they have no time to educate themselves on the issues that they try to debate on other stories. I for 1 think that this is long overdue and that the people that have a negative post about a story like this should either stop reading things online or start your own blog so people that do want to know about this kind of stuff do not have to sift through countless negative posts that have no impact on what is going on at all.

    1. Back in 5 says:

      Thank you! I couldn’t agree more!

  9. RW says:

    #$%^@# trash should be charged with a felony for intentionally hurting a K-9.

    1. K9 says:

      Look! The anonymous nature of the internet has bred another Troll. Suprise…

    2. dogs says:

      #$%^@# dog shouldn’t be showing it’s teeth at anybody

  10. gigi says:

    pretty dog. I’m glad he survived the attack and I’m also glad tougher penalties will be in place to bring those who harm them to justice.

  11. Kurt says:

    I’m very sorry for what happened to this great dog. He is an officer and a gentleman and deserves to be honored as such, as do all the fine K-9 officers.

  12. Support says:

    An officer is an officer. Whether canine or human, the penalty for harming them should be the same.

    God Bless Major!

  13. Kmans says:

    I like Governor Dayton, he is good

  14. Gopher says:

    We have conservatives who want to cut funding to seniors, and the disabled, but spend money on a dog that should have been put down.

  15. Pete says:

    How about a bill that would pay for the physical pain inflicted on HUMANS when police restrain and injure them with out cause?

  16. Linksman says:

    Major is among the greatest of dogs/heros!

  17. Just saying says:

    Pete, it’s called “abide by the law” and you won’t have to be compensated.

  18. police brute tallity says:

    as long as your gonna pay for it anyways now with the new law,make sure its deader than a doornail next time

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