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Police dogs get extra protection in Florida

Penalties will become tougher for offenses against sniffer dogs under a bill signed on Tuesday by the government. Ron DeSantis.

The bill (HB 1047) would increase the penalty from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for touching, hitting, or causing physical harm to dogs working with police, search and rescue officials, or firefighters.

The increased penalty will also apply to people who harm police horses.

“In Florida, back-the-blue includes supporting our K-9s who are fearlessly protective of their handlers and use their unique skills to help people in ways humans can’t,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “If criminals choose to intentionally harm these animals, the penalties must be severe.”

Penalties will be raised from second degree to first degree misdemeanors for persons who interfere or attempt to interfere with police dogs or horses in the performance of their duties.

The law would also make it a third-degree felony to “knowingly and intentionally” resist, obstruct, or oppose police dogs or horses by “displaying or exercising violence” on animals.

The measure will go into effect in October.

Post source: News 4 Jax



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