ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Harming or killing a law enforcement dog could come with stiffer penalties under legislation making its way through the Minnesota Legislature.

Lawmakers took a deeper look Tuesday at a bill that would increase 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 result in prison time, a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution costs of up to $25,000. Current penalties in state law don’t require restitution.

The House bill was sent by a committee to the floor for a vote later this session. The Senate version, which was changed to remove the restitution cap, was also advanced Tuesday for a later floor vote.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. Jenna J says:

    I think there should be tougher penalties!! These dogs are trained to do almost everything. They are like a human. They are the partners of the police officer and if you kill them I believe it is the same as killing a police officer. Plus, all the money it costs for these dogs and the time it takes to train them. I think the penalty should be EXACTLY the same as killing a police officer.

  2. @ jesse says:

    They release them on criminal civilians. key word = criminal. If you don’t want a dog to chew your arm off don’t make them chase you. sounds pretty simple to me?

    1. Jesse says:

      Just because the police think someone is a suspect does not make them guilty in a court of law. How many innocent civilians are killed in drug raids or are the victims of excessive force? Many. Police get it wrong ALOT. Police are not the judge and jury, and the dog should not be used as an indiscriminate form of street punishment.

      or do you think we’re living in the USSR instead of the USA?

      I’m pretty sure the lawful penalty for defending one’s self from an ASSAULT BY A CRIMINAL POLICE OFFICER is not being mauled by an attack dog.

    2. save the dogs says:

      OMG I so agree with you! So sick of hearing that they release them on innocent people give me a break! They run the dog bites and that should be how it is!

  3. Ed says:

    But if you kill a human will driving and texting it’s only a traffic ticket.
    Yep this news made someone look tough on crime but Maybe it’s time to ask your state rep to support HR68.

  4. Mr Do Right says:

    I remember seeing lots of videos where dogs were used to oppress black people. If these laws were in affect then would they have used on innocent civilians who were legally assembled to protest civil right’s violations?

    1. Abby Renner Rolffs says:

      your a dork get into the real world where dogs get hurt just searching a building!

  5. DaveM says:

    This is the same thing as attacking a sworn officer. Max time.

  6. protect the dogs says:

    g No police dogs should ever get harmed by protecting their handler, if someone hurts them it should be no different than hurting an officer!!! They are told many times before the dog is released what is going to happen to them and as far a search and rescue dogs what most departments use now they are no threat yet they have still been hurt by these idiots some of you think should be protected!!!

  7. Jessica says:

    I have always beem taught that a Police Dog deserves as much respect as a Police officer. I believe that if any of these dogs are injured or killed, the perpetraitor should get as much punishment as they would if they actualy injured or killed a Police Officer.

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