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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Then fix the laws! says:

    “Some who opposed the bill say its tougher on people who hurt animals than some crimes against humans”–then toughen those laws too!! It’s been common knowledge for a long time in MN that you get tougher punishments for illegally killing a deer than assaulting a human!

  2. Gary says:

    No matter how many law’s they enact, it won’t solve the problem. The price of dog food and cat food has increased by 2 to 3 time’s what it was a year ago. Alot of people who are on a fixed income, have to make a choice. Buy heating fuel, and put food on the table or buy a $24.00 bag of dog food, or a $16.00 bag of cat food. Having animal’s is grown into a luxery. The Vet want’s at least $80.00 to $100.00 to euthinize them. The owner’s don’t want to shoot them there- selve’s. So what do they do? They put them in their car, take them 5 to 10 mile’s from home, and dump them off. It’s no longer their problem, but somebody else’s.

    1. WT? says:

      I think you’re on the wrong article. This is about hurting police dogs, dogs for the blind, etc. Not killing your cat with a hammer like the other article… But you’re right, criminals will not stop from hurting a police dog because there is a stricter law, it’ll just punish them more when they go to court. Not a bad thing!

  3. Ignorance must be bliss says:

    Stop just making it “service” animals. Animal abuse in general should have a tougher penalty. When you look at any of the studies that have been done with people that abuse animals they graduate to children or people after animals no longer give a “thrill” to them. Abusing something that has no voice for itself is sick and should be treated with extra harsh penalties all the way around!!!

    1. Ignorant says:

      It is already a Felony in MN to abuse animals. There’s really not much more they can do with the law, it just needs to be enforced in the courtrooms!