TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - People who kill or seriously injure police dogs in Florida soon could face tougher penalties after the Senate unanimously passed a bill inspired by the shooting death of a canine named Fang.
The bill passed Wednesday would make that crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It's now a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Republican Sen. Aaron Bean said his bill was inspired after Fang was "executed" in Jacksonville last year. The 3-year-old German shepherd was killed as police chased a 17-year-old carjacking suspect.
Republican Sen. Tom Wright is a former police officer, and he told his colleagues of two instances he responded to calls and his K-9 stopped armed suspects.
A companion bill is advancing in the Florida House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.