Bill To Toughen Penalties For Police Dog Abuse Moves Forward

A bill that would stiffen financial penalties for those who abuse police dogs received bipartisan passage in a House committee Thursday.

Bill sponsor Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, says there’s been a spike in assaults on police dogs in some states. Her bill creates special protections for these four-legged protectors.

“In many cases they can do what a police human officer cannot do; go into small areas," Ryden said. "There’s the narcotics piece of it and the explosive piece. So they can do a lot of searching.”

The bill doesn’t change criminal penalties that are already on the books for these crimes. But it imposes stiffer restitution requirements – that take into account the extensive training these dogs go through.

The bill now heads to the House floor for a full vote.