ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate has voted to increase the legal consequences for people who harm or kill police and other public safety dogs.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously on Thursday. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton after the state House passed it last month.

The bill increases potential restitution costs for people who hurt dogs 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 up to $5,000 and restitution costs up to $25,000.

Sen. John Harrington, a former St. Paul police chief, says police dogs are like partners to the officers they work with and are trained to put themselves between officers and dangerous situations.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. red says:

    Good Sign the bill Dayton

  2. Stephanie says:

    It’s not enough, but it’s a start. I’m sure Dayton will sign it, perhaps with his two (non professional) dogs by his side.

  3. HCSOPiggy says:

    Long over due for something like this to be passed. God bless those that walk the thin blue line.

  4. Jaylee1700 says:

    This seems like a no brainer to me. I’m shocked this already isn’t in place. I always though the penalty for harming a police dog was the same as harming a police officer. The penalty they are naming above seems a little lax. I think it should be stiffer yet.

  5. lynn a says:

    Legal consequences ? Are they meant to be consequences for criminal actions or separate from them? Uh, how about any of the assorted assult or murder charges that should have consequences stemming from these crimes. these dogs are not “like” partners. They ARE partners and sae many human lives each year. People who harm them should pay the same price they pay for doing harm to their human counterparts..

  6. Maria M. says:

    YES! Anyone that would harm an innocent animal deserves harsh punishment. I wish I could save them all myself, but this is at least a step in the right direction! SIGN IT!!!!!

    1. Spot On says:

      “They too, are created by the same loving hand of God which Created us…It is our duty to protect them and to promote their well-being.”—Mother Teresa.

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    Isn’t it Animal cruelty to train an innocent dog to attack a criminal by making the dog think it will get a treat?

    The dog don’t know if a criminal has a dangerous weapon.

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