TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - People who kill or seriously injure police dogs in Florida will now face tougher penalties.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday making the crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It was previously a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Republican Sen. Aaron Bean has said his bill was inspired by the shooting death of a K-9 named Fang in Jacksonville last year. The 3-year-old German shepherd was killed as police chased a 17-year-old carjacking suspect.
In March, photos of St. Petersburg police K-9 Titan went viral after he was shot by a suspect fleeing a traffic stop. The department says he's doing great.
The increased penalties would also apply to anyone who seriously injures or kills a police horse or canines used by fire departments and search and rescue teams.